ECOSYSTEMEnvironment

Why is Biodiversity Important? Causes of Loss of Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity?

As the term, Biodiversity refers, Bio means living, and diversity is the variety of life on earth. It represents different relationships (like ecological, cultural, or evolutionary) between several types of organisms on this planet. All living beings on from human beings to the tiny creatures like microbes combined to form Biodiversity. Hence it is crucial to understand why is Biodiversity important and also the causes of loss of Biodiversity.

biodiversity-importance-and-loss of-biodiversity

In other words, we all depend on each other through various factors and, most importantly, the minimum need for living, i.e., food, shelter, and clothes. Biodiversity is a vital renewable resource. W.G. Rosen first coined the term biodiversity in 1985. Scientists have discovered about 4 million to 100 million organisms, and every year the number increases.

Types of Biodiversity:

There are only four fundamental and hierarchically related levels or types of biological organisms seen. Such as:

Genetic diversity:

Genetic diversity describes the difference between the genes of various species or populations. It is essential for the sustainability of life on this planet. Some instances are different varieties of flowers, rice, etc., different types of cats, dogs, cows, hens, etc.

Functional diversity:

It represents biochemical processes such as energy flow and matter recycling needed for the survival of species, communities, and ecosystems.

Ecosystem diversity

Ecosystem diversity describes the variety of ecosystems or the place where the species or community exist and interact—for example—the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem.

Species diversity

The species diversity shows the different numbers and types of species present in various communities. For example. Prokaryotic bacteria and yeast and eukaryotic plants and higher organisms.

So now let’s talk, why is Biodiversity important, and what are the causes of loss of Biodiversity?

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Of course, Biodiversity is important for every creature on the earth, as we all interdependent with one another. Hence each species plays an essential role to boost ecosystem productivity. These are some pieces of evidence below,

  • Higher the number of plant species leads to a greater variety of crops.
  • A healthy ecosystem can better withstand and help you to fight hazards.

Human is the superior organism in this planet, and thus it’s our responsibility to protect the diversity in wild-life. Therefore, we need to know the importance of Biodiversity in human life.

Nature provides us with an extensive range of goods and other services -immediate, including long term, material along with spiritual and psychological, which are vital to our prosperity. The estimations of the world’s organic assets can extensively be ordered into:

  1. Direct values (productive and consumptive uses)
  2. Indirect values (non-consumptive uses)

Direct values:

  • Direct value or importance represents how we directly dependent on Biodiversity for our living; in other words, our consumptive and productive uses.

Direct values include the following: –

Food Resources: –

  • We are mostly dependent on nature for our food requirements.
  • Some of the plant food resources include – grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, condiments, tea-coffee, tobacco, liquor, oil, etc.
  • Also, some of the animal resources are meat, fish, egg, milk (and milk products), honey, etc.

Other Resources:

  • Various other resources such as medicine, fuel, timber, household accessories, folder, fiber, fertilizer, silk, features, etc.

Indirect Values:

Indirect values are those resources we don’t consume directly, but these are the future options for us. These includes:

  • Carbon Fixing during Photosynthesis
  • To Maintain water cycles, recharging groundwater, protecting watersheds.
  • Buffering from extreme climatic conditions such as flood and drought;
  • Soil production and protection from erosion;
  • To Maintain essential nutrient cycles, such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, and others.
  • Decomposing and absorbing pollutants, organic wastes, pesticides, air, and water pollutants.
  • Regulating the climate at both macro and micro levels.
  • Preserving aesthetic, socio-cultural, scientific, educational, ethical and historical values of natural environments.

Besides these two broad categories we can further divide the importance of values of Biodiversity into seven groups

Consumptive use:

  • Humans are utterly dependent on nature for their food. Food is crucial as an energy source for the biochemical processes that take place inside the body.
  • We mostly get our food from harvesting pulses, lentils, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and also for fulfilling other dietary supplements we culture fish, cows, hens, goat, and other domestic as well as wild animals.
  • The vast majority of seafood contains a high amount of mineral and protein.
  • Thus, deforestation and expanding agricultural land reduces are valuable food species and wild ancestors of our crops.

Productive value:

  • Trade and commerce industry is hugely dependent on jungles.
  • Furthermore, various wood products like timber, firewood, paper pulp, we get many valuable commercial products from forests, including the herbs of medicinal value and also many wild species products like milkweeds.

Medicinal use:

  • Many therapeutic and sweet-smelling plants are being abused in the wild to tap their potential for various illnesses fix in the field of medication extraction. For example – Hippophae rhamnoides, Ephedra Kerardiana. Dactylorhiza categoria and so on.
  • Animal items are additionally wellsprings of drugs, analgesics pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, heart regulators, and much more.

Cultural use:

  • Biodiversity also gives us cultural values as a particular community or species may have a psychological relationship with a group of people for their cultural or religious use.

Option use:

  • It describes species providing value to humanity, sometime in the future. The hunt for multiple families under the research scope is already in progress for discovering solutions to several environmental hazards.
  • The ecological issues being routed to be: contamination as a noteworthy issue, approach to battle different ailment viz., malignancy, diabetes, and so on., AIDS and others.

Natural advantages:

  • Humans can’t have power over nature in nature. It can just squeeze assets and contaminate the earth.
  • Some processes like soil formation, waste disposal, air, and water purification, nutrient cycling, etc. can’t be controlled by a human.
  • Wild animals and plants help us to control pests and to study the disease-carrying species.
  • The food chain explains how nature keeps control overpopulation.
  • Hence, the preservation of natural areas and conservation of wild species should be encouraged and practiced to restore the biological wealth.

Aesthetics:

  • The human community evolved with flora and fauna in their surroundings.
  • Man loves the beauty of temperate grassland, and thus lots of tourists travel national park, forests, mountains and sanctuaries throughout the country
  • Man loves his surrounding by decorating it with images of wild animals and plants and loves to spend time with mother nature.

Now, after knowing everything why is Biodiversity important for us, we need to understand what are the significant causes of loss of Biodiversity. So, let’s briefly discuss that.

Causes of Loss of Biodiversity:

There are various types of causes of loss of Biodiversity, some are natural, and some are human-made. As each species has a significant role in maintaining sustainability, just a single extinction can cause severe tragedy.

We can lose our food chain/web, which causes scarcity for another organism depending on the extinct one and not a good thing for our Biodiversity. So, knowing the reasons and thinking about it is the only solution.

If we divide broadly, the causes of biodiversity loss can be of two types:

Natural cause:

Species extinct due to some natural causes also. These are described below:

Natural Climate change:

Through drought or heat loss, natural climate change occurs.

Volcanic eruption:

A massive volcanic eruption can cause loss of crops by the accumulation of ash.

Diseases:

Natural diseases may reduce the number of especially, mostly the newly evolved ones.

Destruction of habitat:

Natural causes of destruction of habitat include the flood, drought, volcanic eruption, and also impact of the asteroid also leads to habitat fragmentation.

Human-made cause:

Man has the most critical effect on the destruction of varieties. Thus, here I described the evident causes of species loss briefly:

Pollution:

Pollution caused by various human development leads to the acidity of ocean water, loss of aquatic plants and animals due to the release of fertilizer and other chemicals from the agricultural lands.

Habitat destruction:

  • The most common reason for habitat destruction is the human settlement and making of agricultural fields, mining, industries, highway construction, dam building, etc.
  • As a result, species either adopt the changes or die ultimately by starvation or disease or being eaten.
  • A typical example is the extinction of butterflies in the Western Ghats due to habitat destruction.

Over-exploitation:

  • Over-exploitation for commercial use can cause a decrease in particular species.
  • For example, over-fishing has reduced some commercial fish stocks by more than 90%.

Collection for zoo and research:

  • Every year lots of species are collected for research and conservation in zoological or botanical gardens.

Climate change:

  • Construction of industries, increased rate of automobiles, and also excessive use of AC and Refrigerators, which eliminates CFC (Chloro Fluoro Carbon) leads to global warming, which is another major cause of climate change.

Habitat fragmentation

  • Habit fragmentation is also a human-made reason for species destruction as it leads to the formation of artificial islands different from the existing one.

Introduction of exotic species:

  • By the introduction of exotic species naturally, present species suffered to get food and space.

Other human needs like medicinal products, fashion, hunting:

  • For the collection of other suppliants like wood, medicines, hunting for meat, hides, tusk, fur, skin, or some chemicals, to fulfill the human needs is also a cause of loss of Biodiversity.

Biodiversity is important for all of us. We also recommend reading these Books:

  1. Essentials of ecology by G. TYLER MILLER, JR. SCOTT E. SPOOLMAN
  2. Environmental science by Dr. Y.K Singh

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Fahad

I am a Post Graduate in Marketing and supply chain management with over 3 years of experience in a professional job and one-year experience at NGO. Earth Reminder must be our topmost priority because the resources which we are using today will not be there tomorrow. The sad part is we are not giving it back, for example- Cutting trees daily but not planting new trees daily. Products that we are using are not natural anymore as some kind of manipulation is always there. Even now, vegetables are not naturally grown from the soil as people use chemicals to grow them faster. With Earth Reminder, I am raising concern by bringing informational content related to earth care to the world and guiding them to contribute towards the Mother Earth.

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