What Is Biodiversity, and Why Is It Important?

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According to ScienceDaily, biodiversity is the variety of species and genes of animals, microorganisms and plants found on Earth, including their connections and natural processes. Biodiversity is important because it provides biological resources, such as food and medicine, and ecosystem services, such as protection of water, soil, climate and nutrients. Biodiversity also absorbs pollution, promotes tourism, supports education and research and maintains the ecosystem.

Genetic biodiversity is the differences of DNA among animals and plants. Ecosystem biodiversity is the existence of a variety of environments, such as deserts, mountains, forests, lakes, wetlands, agricultural landscapes and rivers. Species biodiversity is found within biodiversity hot spots that support the world’s mammal, amphibian, bird, reptile and plant species.

The benefits of biodiversity are associated with its economic values and role in sustainable development, such as keeping the environment in a state of natural balance. The revenue generated from fisheries, forestry and farming demonstrates the economic importance of biodiversity. According to Global Issues, goods provided by biodiversity include fuel, building material and water. Biodiversity also provides services such as shelter, waste decomposition, moderation of temperatures and floods, nutrient cycling, pollination of crops, control of diseases and pests, purification of air and maintenance of genetic varieties. Additionally, biodiversity provides aesthetic and cultural benefits to society. Climate change threatens biodiversity by causing an imbalance in the environment.