Biodiversity is also referred to as biological diversity. It is a rather broad term that includes all the animals and plants living on the planet. The exact figure of the flora and fauna present cannot be counted as their number runs into millions, if not more. For instance, the Amazon Rainforest is home to millions of different species of animals and plants. And, all the plants and animals, including humans and microorganisms, are reliant on one another to a certain extent. This is something many of us do not realize. That is why it is necessary to realize the importance of biodiversity.
Firstly, biodiversity plays a highly important role in the evolution of species. The Earth has faced major extinction phases where about ninety-nine percent of the plant and animal species were wiped out from the face of the Earth. The last mass extinction took place around 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs were wiped out. Looking through this, it can be concluded that evolution and extinction is a normal occurrence that take place in a cyclic manner. As some species get extinct, newer species tend to evolve. However, the rate of extinction over the last hundred years has gained momentum, but the rate of evolution has not increased. So, if different species get extinct faster than newer species being evolved, the lifecycle will go haywire. Hence, if evolution has to continue without any problems, biodiversity is important.
Even if one species of animal becomes extinct, it wreaks havoc in the food chain. For instance, if a predator at the top of the food chain becomes extinct, then herbivores, who are second in line, will flourish and grow in number. Due to this increase, more pressure will be put on the vegetation. As the more vegetation is consumed by the herbivores, there will be an adverse effect on the rainfall. This, in turn, will lead to desertification of the place. Therefore, biodiversity helps in maintaining the right balance of the environment.
Humans may not realize it but they are the most dependent species on the planet. We depend on nature to fulfill our basic requirements. We cannot survive without biodiversity and nature. We need the nitrogen fixing bacteria to make the soil fertile; we require the carnivorous predators to keep a check on the herbivores so that the vegetation is not destroyed; and we need the cover of forests so that the animals in the wild do not encroach into the populated areas.
Therefore, we should try and reverse the damage that we have wreaked on the environment. It is not too late. If we stand the reversal process now, we will be able to save the millions of animals and plants, including humans, which are in danger.
Source by Kum Martin