Biodiversity is the rich variety of living things that we find on the earth. Where they live together in a particular place they form an ecosystem. All the living things that live within ecosystems are linked together in food chains and food webs.
Why are Ecosystems Important?
Human beings rely on a host of invisible services that ecosystems provide. For example: they provide foods, medicines and energy; they regulate nutrient recycling and waste; they lock up carbon; they maintain clean air and water, they supply crop pollination, seed dispersal, pest and disease control; they preserve genetic diversity and provide recreation for us all.
What Threatens Natural Ecosystems?
It’s likely that those ecosystems that are most able to recover from severe environmental crises (like the effects of the 1987 hurricane) will be those that contain the most species. Unfortunately, as our demands on the natural world become greater, many species of plant and animal are lost. Since we rely on a high biodiversity to maintain the ecosystem services we must not only protect local biodiversity but also create conditions where by it may increase.