Essay by asylum7830University, Bachelor's January 2003

download word file, 1 pages 4.6

Biodiversity in an ecosystem refers to all member species in an environment. Each member has an

important role to play within the ecosystem and the lack of any member can have negative consequences

for the whole. It also includes all the different habitats, biological communities, and ecological processes

within the ecosystem. Biodiversity enables an ecosystem to have the ability to prevent and recover from a

variety of disasters such as fire, disease, or major climate changes. Maintaining ecosystem biodiversity is

very important for many reasons. One reason for protecting biodiversity is because of the benefits to

humans such as resources that provide goods for human use like medicines, foods, and products for shelter.

Other important benefits to humankind include the production by healthy ecosystems of drinkable water,

clean air, and fertile soils. Predators that can help control pests and pollinators that are vital to agriculture

are yet another product of biodiverse ecosystems.

Finally, the primary reason that species become

endangered is due to the loss or alteration of their habitat or ecosystem. If biodiversity is threatened then

endangered species are threatened, possibly leading to extinction of a species.

Biodiversity can also refer to genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is all the different genes contained in

all the individual plants or animals, occurring within a species as well as between species. Preserving the

natural genetic variation that exists among the individuals of species is also very important. Without gentic

diversity an organism's ability to adapt to changes is compromised. Genetic diversity provides a natural

survival mechanism that breeds resistance to disease, avoidance of predation and adaptablity to

environmental stresses into future generations. For humans this means stronger and more vigorous food

crops and healthier livestock. Maintaining genetic diversity also means that a situation that is devastating

to one group might barely...