Biodiversity is extremely important to our environment. According to dictionary.com biodiversity is “biological diversity among and within plant and animal species in an environment”. Many ecosystems would not be able to exist without biodiversity and when major events happen such as oil spills which disrupt biodiversity, we are able to see long term negative effects on ecosystems and our global environment as a whole. In today’s blog we will be diving deep into how biodiversity affects the environment and how environmental changes have affected biodiversity.
Biodiversity and Our Environment
Many ecosystems have very complex food webs and other aspects that if messed with can cause widespread damage and change very quickly throughout the entire ecosystem. An example of this would be if a predator quickly disappeared from an environment due to a disease or other reason you would likely see an increase in animals of prey which would then likely consume all available food and could cause mass death in the long term to that species as they run out of food.
From this, it is easy to tell that everything in an environment is very interlinked. Additionally, even very minor incidents can trigger a landslide of events which ends up making a major change to an ecosystem. Considering the fact that different animals have different direct and indirect effects on human life, it is beneficial to humans to have many diverse groups of animals throughout our planet. Although some species naturally go extinct, it is very important to do what we can as humans to protect this biodiversity as our food, air, and pretty much everything we do relies on biodiversity to some degree.
Our planet’s environment has been constantly changing since its inception, which depending on how you view things is not necessarily a bad thing. Obviously, whenever something bad happens to a species or the environment it is sad, but things like hurricanes, tornados, or other naturally occurring catastrophes is mother nature running its course.
With that being said, humans are having a major impact on the environment as well, which is not natural. Humans have unintentional oil spills, cut down forests, and done many other things that are harmful to the environment. Although it is very sad that this is happening it raises the question of what can be done. Not only are there are costs for everything, even if it is just an opportunity cost, but the majority of pollution and activities that harm the environment are not under the control of the United States.
It is clear that biodiversity has a major effect on both our global environment and smaller ecosystems around the world. So be sure to do what you can to protect this biodiversity by recycling, volunteering, or even just being an informed voter as politicians have major effects on both our environment and economy!
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