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What is Biodiversity?

What is Biodiversity?


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Biodiversity can be divided into three hierarchical categories - genes, species, and ecosystems - that describe very different aspects of living systems and that scientists measure in different ways; namely: Genetic Diversity

By genetic diversity is meant the variation of genes within species. This encompasses particular populations of the same species (such as the thousands of traditional rice varieties in India) or genetic variation in a population (which is very high among Indian rhinos, for example, and very low among cheetahs) . Until recently, measures of genetic diversity were applied primarily to domesticated species and populations kept in zoos or botanical gardens, but techniques are increasingly being applied to wild species.

Diversity of Species

By species diversity is meant the variety of species existing in a region. That diversity can be measured in many ways, and scientists have not agreed on which is the best method. The number of species in a region - its "species richness" - is a measure that is often used, but a more precise measure, "taxonomic diversity" takes into account the close relationship between some species and others. For example: an island with two species of birds and one species of lizards has greater taxonomic diversity than an island with three species of birds but no lizards. Therefore, even though there are more species of land beetles than all other species combined, they do not influence the diversity of the species, because they are very closely related. Similarly, the number of species that live on land is much greater than those that live in the sea, but terrestrial species are more closely related to each other than ocean species, so the diversity is greater in maritime ecosystems than it is. which would suggest a strict species count.

Ecosystem Diversity

The diversity of ecosystems is more difficult to measure than that of species or genetic diversity, because the "boundaries" of communities - species associations - and ecosystems are not well defined. However, to the extent that a consistent set of criteria is used to define communities and ecosystems, their number and distribution can be measured. So far these methods have been applied mainly at the national and sub-national level, but some crude global classifications have been produced.


In addition to the diversity of ecosystems, many other expressions of biodiversity may be important. These include the relative abundance of species, the age structure of populations, the structure of communities in a region, the variation in the composition and structure of communities over time, and even ecological processes such as predation. , parasitism and mutualism. More generally, to achieve specific management or policy goals it is often important to examine not only compositional diversity - genes, species and ecosystems - but also the diversity of ecosystem structure and functions.

Human Cultural Diversity

Also human cultural diversity could be considered as part of biodiversity. Like genetic or species diversity, some attributes of human cultures (eg nomadism or crop rotation) represent "solutions" to problems of survival in particular environments. Furthermore, like other aspects of biodiversity, cultural diversity helps people adapt to changing environments. Cultural diversity is manifested by the diversity of language, religious beliefs, land management practices, art, music, social structure, selection of crops, diet and in every conceivable number of other attributes of human society.


Video: What is biodiversity and why is it important #Biodiversity (July 2022).


Comments:

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