Biodiversity: Type and Importance for Life

When we move from one place to another place , we generally observe the change in  climate,  environment and living things with place. So that variety of  life we found in place to place is called as Biodiversity.

So when you move from cold to hot climatic region, you will find different type of species and environment around you than the cold region. 


Biodiversity Definition

Biodiversity is defined as variety of life , which include all organisms, species and populations , genetic variation among these and their interactions with the environment.

Or if we define  Biodiversity as per United Nations Earth summit 1992, Biodiversity  is the variability among the living organism from all source, including marine , terrestrial and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem. 


Level of Biodiversity 

We found the Biodiversity at three levels , genetics, species and ecosystems diversity.

Genetic Diversity  

Genetic diversity is related to variation in genes withing a particular species. It allows species to adapt changing environments. 

It ensure the survival of some species with drastic changes in environment with desirable genes. Genetic diversity gives us beautiful butterflies, roses, parakeets or coral in a myraid hues, shapes and sizes.

Species Diversity 

Species diversity is related to variety of living organism on earth. Species divrsity is defined as the ration of one species population over total number of organism across all species in the given area.

So in this ratio , 'Zero' would be infinite diversity and 'one' represents only one species present in the area.

Ecosystem/ Community diversity  

Community diversity refers to diversity within a community or habitat. A habitat is cumulative factor of climate, vegetation and geography of region.

If we talk about the habitat , there are various kind of habitat around the world like corals, grasslands, wetland, desert, mangrove and tropical rain forest etc . So each species adapts itself to a particular kind of environment.

 So when there are changes in environment , the species best adapt to that environment become predominant .  The variety of species diversity depends nature of ecosystem.

How to measure Biodiversity ?

If we talk about the measurement of biodiversity, it is measured by two major components - species richness and species evenness.

Species richness is the measure of number of species found in community. So basically there are three type of species richness-

A. Alpha diversity 

Alpha diversity refers to the diversity within a particular area or ecosystem and it is measured by the number of species in that ecosystem.


B. Beta diversity 

Beta diversity is a comparison of diversity between ecosystems, usually measured as the change in amount of species between the ecosysetm.

C.Gamma Diversity 

Gamma diversity is a measure of the overall diversity for the different ecosystem within a region.

Species evenness 

Species evenness measures the proportion of species at a given site i.e low evenness indicates that a few species dominate the site.

Causes for Biodiversity loss  

Nothing is permanent in this universe. Environment changes bring the changes in biodiversity as well.  When a particular species are destroyed or the habitat essential for their  survival is damaged , that result in loss of biodiversity. 

Biodiversity loss are caused by either natural or man made. Natural cause for loss of biodiversity are flood, earthquake, landsides, rivalry among species and lack of pollination and diseases.

 If we talk anu man made causes for biodiversity losses , they are pollution, filling up wetland, destruction of coastal area, extension of agriculture, hunting and poaching, industrial development and deforestation.

Importance of Biodiversity  

The growth and survival of all living things are depend upon the natural resources.  Biodiversity provides a number of natural services for human being. 

There are three type of natural service provided by biodiversity - Ecosystem services, biological services and social services.

Ecosystem services 

Ecosystem services are consists of soil formation, nutrient storage and recycling, climate stability, protection of water resources, pollution control etc.

Biological services 

Biodiversity provides various type of biological services like food, wood products, medicinal resources, agriculture produce, biomass, ornamental plants, breeding stocks etc.

Social Services 

As we know Biodiversity has variation of life and nature in it, It provides the opportunities for research, education and monitoring of the species. 

As social services, biodiversity provides us recreation of natural resources and tourism for economic development as well as cultural values for society development.

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