What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the immense variety of life forms that have existed on our planet. The main contributor of this great biodiversity is the evolution of creatures on Earth.
Types of Biodiversity:
Creatures in nature have an infinite variety of shapes, sizes and colors which is called biodiversity. Since ancient trees over 100 m high, to very small beings can only observe with the aid of a microscope.
Among the vegetables we can find unicellular plants (consist of a single cell), some multicellular (composed of large numbers of cells) algae and plants. There are also aquatic and terrestrial plants, with flowers or without.
In animals, the variety is not less, because they also have a lot of forms and structures.
There are creatures that have adapted to live without oxygen, so they are called anaerobes. For others, which are named as aerobic, oxygen is vital to carry out their important functions to their bodies.
There are organisms are called autotrophs which are capable of producing their own food (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) with the help of solar energy. Plants would be best example for this group. There are others who cannot do this and need to eat their food already prepared. These organisms are called heterotrophs an example of which is animal.
We can find plants and animals that live in the sea, others in freshwater, some live on land, but need moisture, while others are adapted to live in the wilderness.
All are very important because they do not live in isolation. They interact with each other directly or indirectly, and what happens to one can affect the other. Therefore it is important to care for and respect all forms of life in biodiversity and at all costs avoid the extinction of any plant or animal whose absence can affect humans.
Importance of Biodiversity
In the biodiversity of the Earth there are millions of different kinds of organisms that can live in the soil, water and in the air. Their sizes vary from a bacterium, which cannot be seen with the naked eye, to even a blue whale, which is the largest animal in the world that can measure up to 30 meters in length. Biologists estimate that there are about 2 million different species of living things, and each species are formed by a large number of individuals. Insects are the most diverse group of animals in biodiversity of the nature. It is estimated that there are over 750,000 species of insects described scientifically.
To give an idea of the difficulty of studying the varieties of organisms, it is said that if they were used in the study 10 minutes of each species, and worked 24 hours a day without rest, it would take 38 years to the study. Even after that it wouldn’t be possible to be informed about all species. In addition, new species are constantly being discovered gradually. Biologists have had to solve the riddles posed by the great diversity of species over the years and through careful observations.
There are bodies with peculiar forms and several of colors. We see incredible variety of insects, the plants have leaves with a number of ways, there are millions and millions of bacteria, and they have different types of reproduction, and so on. This diversity reflects the fact that each agency should best adapt to their environment, so as to keep themselves away from the danger of extinction.
The Earth is changing and the organisms that live on it have to adapt to these changes. The extinction of many species is due to their inability to adapt to changes that occur in the environment they live.
The overexploitation of resources, pollution and environmental degradation, transform the living creatures and abruptly force them to change their habits in order to survive. Unless they adapt themselves to the changing situation of the nature, it is inevitable that they will be in danger of extinction.
Loss of Biodiversity
Over-exploitation of natural resources is one of the most common reasons that cause the loss of biodiversity. Over-exploitation causes deforestation and species extinction.
Another cause for loss of biodiversity is the sale and trade of species. Such as the yellow-headed parrots they die when they are removed from their environment. Another example is spider monkey. Its situation is even more dramatic because in order to capture a baby hunters have to kill the parents. It is important not to encourage this activity by not buying this type of species for use as pets.
It is estimated that about 70 000 plants can be grown for food. For now it is approximately 150 and only 30 of them provide 90% of food for human consumption. For animal species, livestock focuses only on a very limited number of species, wasting others that are considered wild, such as wild sheep and goats, rabbits and hares.
Extinction of Species in biodiversity
Extinction of animal and plant species in biodiversity happened at first due to natural phenomena. The reason was being unable to adapt to the changing environment in which they lived. Thus, over 90% of living species that have existed on Earth have disappeared.
Today the human population is the main cause of the extinction of species, especially of animals. It is estimated that each year more than 100 species of animals extinct and in the middle of the next century almost 25% of the species of animals we know will be gone.