Simple Essay On Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human well-being is intimately linked.
No feature of Earth is more complex, dynamic, and varied than the layer of living organisms that occupy its surfaces and its seas, and no feature is experiencing more dramatic change at the hands of humans than this extraordinary, singularly unique feature of Earth.
It follows that large-scale human influences over this biota have tremendous impacts on human well-being.
It also follows that the nature of these impacts, good or bad, is within the power of humans to influence ().
Functional diversity (the variety of different ecological functions in a community independent of its taxonomic diversity) shows patterns of associations (biota typical of wetlands, forests, grasslands, estuaries, and so forth) with geography and climate known as biomes (see ).
These can be used to provide first-order approximations of both expected functional diversity as well as possible changes in the distribution of these associations should environmental conditions change.
More-complete biotic inventories are badly needed to correct for this deficiency ( While the data to hand are often insufficient to provide accurate pictures of the extent and distribution of all components of biodiversity, there are, nevertheless, many patterns and tools that decision-makers can use to derive useful approximations for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
North-temperate regions often have usable data on spatial distributions of many taxa, and some groups (such as birds, mammals, reptiles, plants, butterflies, and dragonflies) are reasonably well documented globally.
Irrespective of actual global species richness, however, it is clear that the 1.7–2 million species that have been formally identified represent only a small portion of total species richness.
Species- or other taxon-based measures of biodiversity, however, rarely capture key attributes such as variability, function, quantity, and distribution—all of which provide insight into the roles of biodiversity.
(See ) Ecological indicators are scientific constructs that use quantitative data to measure aspects of biodiversity, ecosystem condition, services, or drivers of change, but no single ecological indicator captures all the dimensions of biodiversity () Ecological indicators form a critical component of monitoring, assessment, and decision-making and are designed to communicate information quickly and easily to policy-makers.
Thus only a multidimensional assessment of biodiversity can provide insights into the relationship between changes in biodiversity and changes in ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services ().
Biodiversity includes all ecosystems—managed or unmanaged. Sometimes biodiversity is presumed to be a relevant feature of only unmanaged ecosystems, such as wildlands, nature preserves, or national parks. Managed systems—be they plantations, farms, croplands, aquaculture sites, rangelands, or even urban parks and urban ecosystems—have their own biodiversity.