The earth and its complexities are beautiful, and what makes it the magic of life. Several ecosystems work together to make the planet as beautiful as it is. From various incredible wildlife to breathtaking diverse communities of plants, every ecosystem within the biosphere is significant and unique.
Evolution has brought about a further expression of how beautiful nature truly is. Every plant blooming with exciting colors and landscape showcasing outstanding attributes. If you’re curious about how diverse and unique the earth truly is, then we will be explaining just that. Get ready for a memorable read about the home we all inhabit, Earth.
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is derived from the combination of two words, Bio, which means life and diversity translating to a variety or variable. Put that together, and you get the meaning of the variety of life in plants, animals, and microorganisms. Biodiversity essentially discusses the genetic information of all living things and multiple ecosystems.
There are three different levels of biodiversity that we would explore to give you a better understanding of how complex every life form is.
- Genetic Diversity
When you see a specific animal such as a leopard, you can easily tell because of its spots. However, a tiger has stripes in certain areas of the body. These physical attributes of both animals are what separates them and the genetic formation is responsible. Genetic diversity refers to the variety of genes within a specific species. Every individual within a species has a distinct genetic composition. Hence, there can be several populations within a species.
While some animals are genetically diverse, others are quite similar genetically. For instance, the long worm, known as C. elegans and nematodes are one of the most genetically diverse animals. Kangaroos, on the other hand, are largely genetically similar. The Split Gill Mushroom (Schizophyllum) is the most diverse organism with up to 20% in diversity. Compared to human genetic diversity estimated at below 0.5%, this is a huge value.
It’s important to preserve genetically diverse groups to maintain genetic diversity.
- Species Diversity
Every habitat or region is popular for inhabiting multiple types of species, and the number of these species in a specific location is called species richness. Several facts here https://www.trvst.world/biodiversity/biodiversity-facts-statistics/ point to this and more. For instance, let’s say a forest might have 60 plant species, 20 mammal species, and 30 bird species. While there might be so many types of snakes in the rainforest, there’s so much more on earth to see.
Earth currently inhabits an average of 1.8 million distinct species, and almost a million of these species are insects. And if that blows your mind, think about the fact that almost 13,000 more species are discovered annually.
Here are a few species that were discovered in 2020;
- The Jonah’s mouse lemur (Microcebus Jonahi) in Madagascar (25 species)
- The Lilliputian frog in Bolivia (20 species)
- The Popar Langur (200-260)
- Salazar’s Pit Viper in Himalayas
- 15 wasp species found in Brazil
Tropical rainforests are home to over 50% of the species on the earth, even though they only make 7% of the land.
- Ecosystem Diversity
There are several ecosystems in different areas of a location, and the number of communities tells the ecosystem in an area. Ecosystems are communities of organisms and how they interact with their physical environment. There are ecosystems in ponds, an entire forest, or a small area.
The Great Barrier Reef inhabits a vast and unique range of ecological communities and species. With its breathtaking array of marine life, 600 multiple types of corals, 100 jellyfish species, 500 work species, 1625 fish species, 133 types of sharks and rays, and over 30 whale and dolphin species, this is one of the most complex ecosystem diversity. Unfortunately, some ecosystems are slowly dying off due to multiple factors.
The Tall grass prairies is an ecosystem of 40-60 species of grasses, 300 species of flowers, and 109 species of lichens and liverworts. Grazing was also a natural part of this ecosystem. This ecosystem is currently an endangered ecosystem due to agricultural conversion, inadequate management, and urbanization.
Importance of Biodiversity Conservation
Preserving the diversity of nature goes beyond how beautiful plants and animals are. Biodiversity is necessary for health, food, fuel, and so many developmental functions. It can help with addressing the effects of climate change as well as providing more jobs for livelihood.
The world is filled with extremely diverse plants and animals. They feed off the planet and nurture it as well. There’s so much to see and learn, hence the reason why you need to play a part in preserving it.