“””BIODIVERSITY”Biodiversity, as defined by E.O. Wilson, “is meant to be all inclusive-it’s the genetic based variation of living organisms at all levels, from thevariety of genes in populations of single species, through species, on up to thearray of natural ecosystems.” This includes plants, animals, insects, fungi,bacteria, and all microorganisms. All of these things create what is known as aweb. These things interact with each other in some way there for they depend onone another throughout their lifetime. There are many separate ways in which wecan study biodiversity. These ways include, genetic, species, community,ecosystem, and taxonomic diversity. Biodiversity can be best number of speciesin a given area, or scientifically, “species richness.”Today there is a biodiversity crisis facing us. This is caused mainlyby the destruction of habitats. This dramatically increases the rate at whichspecies decrease in number and become extinct. It is appalling to know that weare the main cause of this. Over fishing, pollution, over cutting, and anincrease in population contribute to this problem. An example of this is thegold mining operation that we saw in the video. While mining, Mercury wasdripping into the water. The mercury then got into the fish and into the humanswho ate the fish.
Biodiversity promotes a healthy environment. Environments rich inbiodiversity are stronger and can with stand things such as drought, disease,and other stresses that environments that lack it cannot. In the video, duringthe drought, the side of the field with a more diverse environment held stern asthe other wilted away.
Areas that are very diverse are very important to humans as well. Theyprovide a wide arrange of pharmaceuticals such as aspirin and penicillin. “Some40 percent of U.S. prescriptions are for pharmaceuticals derived from wildplants, animals and microorganisms.(E.O. Wilson)” They also provide fruit, oils,beverages, drugs (including illegal narcotics), fuel, and much more. Humansalso benefit from biodiversity from what E.O. Wilson calls “biophillia,” whichis the natural affiliation humans have for natural environments.(E.O. Wilson)Old growth forests play a dentrimental role in biodiversity preservation.
It’s most important feature is biodiversity. Old growth forests provide uswith many of the things that we as humans take for granted, for example,breathable air pure water, and pest control through birds, bats, and insects.
In the Eastern U.S., most of the old growth occurs in small isolated areas.
Scientist have come to the conclusion that even if these matured areas cover asubstantial portion of landscape, it will not provide long term diversity formany species that live in such a community.(How much old growth..?)Many environmentalists are increasingly concerned with this biodiversitycrisis. As humans we need to do our part to end this. Most people don’trealize the impact of the environment on our lives. “Our most valuable butleast appreciated resource.(E.O. Wilson)” This quote best summarizes society’saction towards our ecosystem.