What is Biodiversity

Biodiversity is defined simply as the variety of life on Earth. The dimensions of biodiversity include the genetic diversity within a species and the variety of species as well as the range of communities and ecosystems. Of the total number of species in a trophic component, or in a community as a whole, often relatively small percentages are abundant or dominant. , and a large percentage are rare. Sometimes, though, there are no dominant species but many species of intermediate abundance.

Components Of Biodiversity :-

The concept of species diversity has two components:
(1) Richness, based on the total number of species present; and
(2) Apportionment, based on relative abundance (or other measures of importance) of species and degree of dominance or lack thereof. Species diversity tends to increase with the size of the area, and from high latitudes to the equator. Diversity tends to be reduced in stressed biotic communities, but it may also be reduced by competition in old communities in stable physical environments.

Types Of Biodiversity :-

There are three other types of biodiversity:-
(1) Pattern diversity, which results from zonation, stratification, periodicity, patchiness, food webs, and other arrangements.
(2) Genetic diversity, the maintenance of genotypic heterozygosity, polymorphism, and other genetic variability that is an adaptive necessity for natural populations; and
(3) habitat diversity, the diversity of habitat or landscape patches, which serves as a basis for manipulation dynamics and the diversity of the species within a particular habitat or community type. Many ecologists are becoming concerned that the reduction in habitat, species, and genetic diversity resulting from human activities is jeopardizing future adaptability in natural ecosystems, agroecosystems and agrolandscapes.

Loss of Biodiversity :-

The rapidly growing human population, with its growing appetite for food, water, timber, fiber, and fuel, is accelerating the conversion of forests, grasslands, and the wetlands to agriculture and urban development. The inevitable result is the loss of most of the wild plants and animals that occupy those natural habitats. Pollution also degrades habitats- particularly aquatic and marine habitats- destroying the species they support. Further, hundreds of species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and butterflies, as well as innumerable plants, are exploited for their commercial value. Even when species are protected by law, many are hunted, killed and marketed illegally. According the assessment, the majority of wild plant and animal species are declining in their range and/or population size.

Biodiversity is the mainstay of agricultural crops and many medicines. The loss of biodiversity can only curtail development in these areas. Biodiversity is also critical factor in maintaining the stability of natural systems and enabling them to recover from disturbances such as fires or volcanic eruptions.