Biodiversity

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Biodiversity is the life variation within a given ecosystem or entire earth. It is the biological diversity that is found in the earth. They include animals, plants as well as microorganisms found in different ecosystems of the earth like rainforests, coral reefs and deserts. Biodiversity is usually used to measure biological systems health. There are millions of distinct biological species that are found in the world today. These are the products of over 3.5 billion years of evolution. Biodiversity is not distributed throughout the earth, this is because it is found in some localized regions. Tropics are some of the areas that are rich of biodiversity, while Polar Regions are very poor in biodiversity. The climate change is causing extinction of many species and other biodiversity. There have been five major mass extinctions since life begun in the world. These mass extinctions have led to sudden and large drop of biodiversity species on earth. For last 540 million years, there was rapid growth in biodiversity. It was referred as the Cambrian explosion; this was a period where almost every phylum of the multi-cellular organisms appeared. After 400 million years, there was massive loss of biodiversity; this was classified as mass extinction events.  Cretaceous-tertiary extinction event was the most recent one which occurred around 65 million years ago. This attracted a lot of attention mainly because it led to killing and extinction of dinosaurs (Downes et al, 2002).

Since the emergence of human beings, there has been great reduction in biodiversity mass. This period is usually referred to as Holocene extinction. This is mainly due to the human impacts on the environment and in particular destruction of animals and plants habitats. There has been loss of genetic biodiversity due to human practices; this is a major concern in the world today. The effect of climate change usually results to loss of biodiversity within the world. Effects of global warming have destroyed many biodiversity habitats within the world. Some of the effects include floods like El Niño that cause havoc around the world. It causes destruction of around 10 percent of all the earth’s species (Edward, 2002).

Biodiversity is very vital in boosting the ecosystem productivity, every species have a major role to play regardless of its size. Great diversity of species ensures that there is a natural sustainability of all forms of life. For example, if there is a large number of plant species, there is a variety of crops, this ensures that the ecosystem is able to recover and withstand disasters. Around 80 percent of the poor needs and 40 percent of the world’s economy are usually derived from the biological needs. The more the bio diversity, the higher the discoveries like adaptive responses, economic development and medical discoveries that assists in overcoming the climate change. A healthy ecosystem is able to withstand and even recover from various disasters (Faith & Trueman, 2001). 

A health biodiversity usually provides a number of natural services that include water resources protection, formation of soil and its protection, storage and recycling of nutrients, breakdown and absorption of pollution, contribution to stability of climate and recovering from events that are unpredictable. Biological resources are also gotten from biodiversity; they include food, wood products, ornamental plants, future resources, food, medicinal resources or pharmaceutical drugs, population reservoirs and diversity in species, ecosystems and species. All these make the economic and development to move forward towards sustainability.

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