Free Essays On Biodiversity

Biodiversity refers to the importance of a wide variety of plants and animals that live in the world or in a specific habitat. It is important to maintain this level in order to balance the environmental harmony on our planet. Biodiversity, also referred to as biological diversity, is broadly the diversity or variability of different species of plants and animals on the Earth. It is essential to have high level of biodiversity to keep the natural surroundings in a harmonious state. Here are some essays of varying length on Biodiversity to help you with the topic in your examination.

Essay on Biodiversity

Biodiversity Essay 1 (100 words)

Biodiversity, short for biological diversity, refers to the variety of different species of plants and animals living on Earth. It is important to maintain high level of biodiversity in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the environment and for the survival of mankind.

However, with the growing air, water and land pollution on our planet it is becoming difficult to maintain biodiversity. A number of species of plants and animals have become extinct as a fall-out of the rapid environmental changes caused due to the aforementioned reasons leading to decline in biodiversity. This needs to be controlled to save the planet and those living here.


 

Biodiversity Essay 2 (150 words)

Biodiversity is said to be a measure of different types of plants, animals and other organisms present in the ecosystem. All these contribute in maintaining a healthy environment on the planet and thus play an important role.

The various species of plants and animals present on Earth are not distributed evenly. The main reason for this uneven distribution is the climatic conditions of our planet. The climate varies highly in different parts of the world and thus there is a variation in the kind of life present in each part. The climatic conditions have undergone a major change over the last few decades and this has led to a decline in biodiversity. The growing imbalance can cause a threat to the mankind as well.

It is essential to ensure richness of biodiversity by controlling pollution and building an environment that is safe and secure for all the organisms living on the planet.


 

Biodiversity Essay 3 (200 words)

Biodiversity refers to the variability and variety of different species of plants and animals on Earth. This variety contributes towards making our planet inhabitable.

The reason for unequal distribution of various organisms in different parts of the world is the varied climatic conditions. There is greater terrestrial biodiversity near the equator and this is caused due to warm climate and high primary productivity. On the other hand marine biodiversity is highest along the coasts in the Western Pacific as it has the highest sea surface temperature. Biodiversity basically clusters in hotspots and while it has been on a rise through the time researchers state that it is likely to slow down in the times to come.

It is essential to maintain rich diversity to build a harmonious environment. It enables the survival of human beings by providing them their basic needs such food, shelter, medicines, etc. However, the increasing pollution which is continually degrading the environment is also having a negative impact on biodiversity. Several species that inhabited Earth earlier are now extinct and many other are feared to be extinct in the coming years. This will further lead to environmental imbalance and can prove to be hazardous for the human species.

Biodiversity Essay 4 (250 words)

Biodiversity, also referred to as biological diversity, is the variety of different species of flora and fauna living on Earth. The richer the biodiversity the more balanced and harmonious would the environment be. Different variety of plants and animals contribute their bit to make the planet worth inhabiting. One of the main reasons for the survival of human species on Earth is biodiversity. This is because various species of organisms help in meeting their basic needs of food, shelter, cloth and other resources.

There are around 300,000 species of flora that have been known to date and numerous species of fauna that includes not only animals but also birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, insects, molluscs, crustaceans, etc. Our planet Earth was formed close to 4.54 billion years ago and there have been evidences of life since around 3.5 billion years ago. A number of species of both flora and fauna have gone extinct over the past centuries and many more are anticipated to go extinct in the times to come there by disturbing the level of biodiversity.

Human beings have become so driven towards technology over the years that they have forgotten its repercussions. Several new inventions have proven to be hazardous to the environment and are having a negative impact on biodiversity. It is high time humans should start taking the environmental issues seriously and contribute their bit towards improving the atmosphere. A healthy environment is essential for developing rich biodiversity which in turn is essential for the human beings to live in a harmonious state on Earth.

Biodiversity Essay 5 (300 words)

Biodiversity is basically the measure of different plants, animals and other organisms living on earth. Each variety of flora and fauna present on Earth contributes its bit towards creating a balanced environment which is fit for the survival of the living beings. These species help in fulfilling the basic survival needs of each other. It is thus important to have a rich biodiversity.

How has Biodiversity Declined?

While the importance of maintaining a rich biodiversity has been stressed upon time and again, over the years the level of biodiversity has seen a downward trend and it is likely to go down further in the times to come. The main reason for this is the growing pollution which is an outcome of the industrial wastes and the use of various new-age inventions. Several species of plants and animals have become extinct in the recent past due to the environmental changes brought about by man and many are estimated to go extinct in the coming time. This would lead to further decline in biodiversity which in turn would lead to imbalance in the environment and cause a threat to the human race as well as other organisms living on Earth.

How to Add to Richness of Biodiversity?

It is essential to grow more sensitive towards the environmental concerns. The governments of various countries are spreading awareness about the same and are trying to curb the issue by using different means. It is also the responsibility of the common man to come forward to do his bit to conserve the environment.

Conclusion

Human beings seem to have grown so accustomed to using the technology that they have overlooked the importance of conserving the natural surroundings. It needs to be understood that insensitivity towards environment is nothing but paving way towards your own destruction. Do your bit to bring about the change!


 

Biodiversity Essay (400 words)

Biodiversity, also referred to as Biological Diversity, is the variety of flora and fauna present in a particular habitat or on Earth as a whole. It has largely replaced the more clearly defined terms – species richness and species diversity.

Biodiversity – A Unified View of Biological Varieties

There are many other terms that have been used to define this diversity. These include ecological diversity (viewed from ecosystem diversity perspective), taxonomic diversity (gauged at the species diversity level), functional diversity (computation of the functionally disparate species within population) and morphological diversity (derived from genetic diversity). Biodiversity offers a unified view of all these biological varieties.

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity is important as it helps in maintaining a balance in the ecological system. Different plants and animals are interdependent on each other to get their basic needs fulfilled. For instance, human beings are dependent on various plants and animals for their food, shelter and clothes and likewise many other species are dependent on each other for such purposes. Richness of biodiversity makes our planet fit for the survival of each of the species living here.

However, unfortunately the growing pollution is having a negative impact on biodiversity. A number of plants and animals have gone extinct because of this and many are feared to become extinct in the times to come if the level of pollution continues to grow this way. This would result in a decline in biodiversity.

How to Maintain Biodiversity?

Human beings need to understand the importance of maintaining rich biodiversity. The vehicular smoke that leads to massive air pollution is becoming a threat to various species. This is one of the first things that need to be controlled in order to bring down the pollution level in the atmosphere. The industrial waste that goes into the sea is harmful for the marine life and must thus be disposed of using some other means. Similarly, land and noise pollution must also be controlled.

Deforestation is also a major reason for the decline in the level of biodiversity. Not only is it rapidly bringing down the number of plants and trees but it is also taking away shelter from the animals and making it hard for them to survive. Such practices must be controlled in order to ensure harmony in the environment.

Conclusion

Every species of flora and fauna serves its unique purpose towards maintaining the environment and making it worth living. Thus, in order to maintain a balanced environment, it is important to maintain richness and balance of biodiversity.

 

Related Information:

Essays on Climate Change

Global Warming Essay

 WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?

 
Least Chipmunk, Rocky Mountains, photo by David Boag

by

Brian Klinkenberg

Department of Geography, University of British Columbia

 

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
Wild thing

Chip Taylor's song "Wild Thing" might not have been referring to our wild species, but there is no doubt that the wild things of our planet do make everything groovy.  They are what this planet is about--the Mountain Gorillas, the Sea Turtles, the wild orchids, the scorpions and spiders, the sea stars, and everything else you can think of.  If they are groovy, we are groovy.  This is something we need to hold tight to, and should become the mantra of the new green enlightenment that is currently underway.  The wild things represent our planet's biodiversity, or, to put it another way, they represent hope for humanity.  If we do not sustain our wild things, or biodiversity, then we, as a species, might blink out.  

So, what is biodiversity?

Biodiversity has many definitions, but perhaps the best and simplest one is that biodiversity is "all living things on earth". This embraces all species and all genetic variation on earth. There is growing recognition that we need to protect our global biodiversity, and a growing realization that species loss is accelerating.  We have moved into a period when the speed of species loss has reached a critical level.  We now know, for example, that the amphibians of the world are in a serious state of decline, a decline that seems to be driven by major climate change. We also know that the world's Mountain Gorillas face imminent extinction--a direct result of human warfare. There is trauma in our oceans, with entire "dead zones" that have developed, areas of oxygen depletion.  And much, much more.

In protecting biodiversity, we strive towards protection of species and their habitats.  Habitat protection is critical if global biodiversity is to persist.  Wild species cannot survive without their homes, their food sources, their breeding areas and migration areas and, something we don't think about, migration stopover areas--areas that allow migrating species to rest and feed on their way to winter or summer homes. Our wild species need these components in order to persist and reproduce. That is, in order to maintain populations. They especially need these components in order to persist in the face of adversity or major change, such as we are seeing now with global climate change.

Macoun's Poppy (Papaver lapponicum) is one of nine native and non-native

species of poppy found growing in the wild in BC. Photo by Ian Cumming

 

Biodiversity in BC

British Columbia is one of the most biologically diverse provinces in Canada, rivaled only by Ontario with its large intrusions of Carolinian species and habitats. BC's biodiversity is tied directly to the impressive array of habitats and ecosystems that are found here, from mountains to wetlands to forests to oceans to river systems. It is also tied to the variation in climate that the province experiences, from cool coastal climates to the dry lands of the Okanagan.  This variation leads to the many species groups we find here, from the marine mammals of our coastal waters to the breathtaking displays of alpine flora in our mountain regions. Biodiversity in BC covers everything from bears to bees, wild lettuce and wild roses, to the great kelp beds of the Pacific Coast.  

BC's Flora and Fauna

When it comes to the diversity of plants and animals that are found in BC, this province has more species than any other Canadian province.  These include native species as well as species that have arrived here from somewhere else.  In the plant world, we have species that specialize or grow in alpine areas (on mountain slopes, in mountain ravines), in wetlands (marshes, swamps, fens, bogs and vernal or spring pools), in dry-land areas (sagebrush steppe and pocket desert), and in salt water (the kelp and other seaweeds that inhabit the Pacific Ocean, or species that live in saline lakes and ponds). In the animal world we find caribou herds, colonial nesting birds (such as gulls and herons), wolf packs, wild horses, and even scorpions in the 'pocket desert' around Osoyoos.

In order to learn more about the species that make up the biodiversity of British Columbia, visit the biogeographic atlases of BC:  E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC. While these atlases are still being compiled, we can already see the great numbers of species that this province supports and discover where they live.

Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) are one of our species of

colonial-nesting birds. Photo by Gerald and Irmgard Carter.

Wild Carrot or Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), a wild relative

of our cultivated carrot. Photo by Diane Williamson.

 

Biodiversity in our homes

But let's think of biodiversity in a different way. Lets think about domesticated or cultivated species of plants and animals--species such as horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, or even our food plants such as broccoli, carrots, lettuce, potatoes--all derived originally from wild species. Without the original wild horses or wild carrots, what would we be eating, and where would our civilizations be today?   These domesticated species also represent biodiversity. 

A good example of the relationship between cultivated plants and wild plants is the carrot. Wild carrot is Daucus carota, while the cultivated carrot is Daucus carota subsp. sativa which arose from the wild species.  This major cultivated food probably was originated in the middle east and was bred to reduce the bitterness of the wild plants.

Another good example of how we derived food plants from wild plants and their relationships to the wild plants of the world, is the familiar lettuce.  The lettuce we eat is Lactuca sativa, a member of the family Asteraceae (the daisy family) that has been cultivated for many centuries.  In BC, we have four species of wild lettuce (Lactuca biennis, L. canadensis, L. ludviciana and L. serriola.  You can easily see the relationship between our wild lettuces and our familiar cultivated one when the cultivated one 'bolts' in our garden and flowers. It shows the characteristic 'lettuce' flowers.

 There are many examples of wild plants that have become food plants, and no doubt there are many wild plants that could still become food plants, or medicines, which is another reason why is it important to protect our wild species.

A toe of the Bear River Glacier near Stewart, BC. Glaciers have played a major role in determining the species composition of a region.  Photo by Gerald and Irmgard Carter.

Factors that Influence Biodiversity

Many factors influence biodiversity, from the physical features of the landscape around us that provide living space (niches) for species, to rivers and glaciation and erosion that modify physical features and provide habitat niches.  Variation in rainfall and annual precipitation contributes to biodiversity by, resulting in wetter and drier regions.  Annual temperatures and number of frost free days determine which species can grow in a region.  All of these geographical factors combine to form the conditions that produce a regional flora and fauna.

Maintaining intact populations and ecosystems is important to biodiversity protection.  And it is especially important as we face global climate change.  Intact ecosystems and intact species populations will have more resilience in the face of change, and will allow for species persistence in the face on increased competition and changing growing conditions. Evidence of climate change is apparent in many areas around the world, including the Arctic and the Antarctic.  Can our wild species survive this?

Glaciers in BC provide an opportunity to view climate change in action as they retreat. Click here for more information on glaciers in BC.

We will explore some of the factors that influence biodiversity in the essays presented on this site.

Stewardship and the future

The biodiversity of our planet is important to human survival, but it is also inherently valuable, with or without humans.  Wild species make our ecosystems tick, they help keep our drinking water fresh, some create ecosystems (think of the Canadian Beaver, master architect). Ecosystems and plants and animals are so linked that if we remove some of them, we might inadvertently remove all of them through a cascading ecological effect.  

As responsible stewards of our planet, we must ensure that the complex array of biological diversity is maintained and not destroyed by expanding human populations.  We must ensure that ecosystems remain whole and healthy. If we don't, humans will feel the effects.  It is the wild things that offer hope for humanity.  The wild things are far more important than we are.

 

Wetland systems, such as this lake in the Chilcotin, support large arrays of species and also have important hydrological functions.  Photo by Gerald and Irmgard Carter.

 

Please cite these pages as:

Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2017. Biodiversity of British Columbia [www.biodiversity.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

All material found on this web site is covered by Canadian Copyright Laws. Please contact the respective copyright holder if you wish to use any illustration, photograph or text.

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