Biodiversity is the variety of life in an ecosystem. Ecologists study the interrelationships between all organisms including plants and animals in a certain area. Ecological Biodiversity is the diversity of ecosystems, natural communities and habitats. Genetic Biodiversity is the variation in genes that exist within a species. Areas such as swamps, marshes, estuaries and other types wetlands support a great amount of diversity. Diversity is good for wildlife and humans because it allows the continual evolution all kinds of species of plants and animals that we all depend on for life.
The National Wildlife Federation gives the following reasons why we should protect and promote biodiversity in all ecosystems.
- Without a diversity of pollinators, plants and soils our supermarkets would have a lot less produce.
- Most medical discoveries to our diseases and life spans were made because of research into plants and animal biology and genetics. Every time a species goes extinct or genetic diversity is lost we will never know whether research would have given us a new science or drug.
- Biodiversity is an important part of the ecological services that make life livable on earth. They include everything from cleaning water and absorbing chemicals, which wetlands do to providing oxygen for us to breathe – one of the many things plants do for us.
- Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to disturbances like extreme fires and floods. If a reptile species goes extinct another reptile is likely to adapt better than if there is only one type of reptile.
- Genetic diversity prevents diseases and helps species adjust to changes in their environment