Why is biodiversity so important?
Our planet’s diverse thriving ecosystem may seem like permanent fixtures but are vulnerable to collapse leading to vandalization. What makes the ecosystem sturdy? biodiversity.
It is built out of 3 intertwined features:
- ecosystem diversity,
- species diversity,
- genetic diversity
The more intertwining the denser and more resilient the weave becomes. i.e. Amazon rainforest and due to its complex diversities, here are tangled liana vines that crawl up from the forest floor to the canopy intertwining with treetops as strong trees helped along by the vines these trees provide food for herbivorous which disperse the seed throughout the forest so they can grow, leftovers are consumed by the millions of insects that decompose and recycle nutrients to create rich soil. All this strengthens biodiversities weave which is further reinforced by genetic diversity within individual species to cope with changes. Due to isolation, species that lack genetic diversity, or low population numbers are much more vulnerable to fluctuations. Whenever a species disappears because of its weakened gene pool a knot is untied and part of the net disintegrates. Would the system fall apart?
No, The volume of species, their genetic diversity, and the complexity of the ecosystems forms such rich biodiversity in this forest that one species gap in the weave won’t cause it to unravel. The forest can stay resilient and recover from change but that’s not true in every case.
Taking away just one salient component can undermine the entire system i.e. coral reefs, many organisms in a reef are dependent on the coral, it provides key microhabitats, shelter, and breeding grounds for thousands of species. Coral itself is a loom that allows the tangled net of biodiversity to be woven making the coral a key organism. What if it gets vandalized? The keystone species leaves its dependents at a loss menacing the entire fabric of the reef.
All these diversities together form the complex tangled weave of biodiversity which is vital for the survival of the organism. Humans are woven into this biodiversity, with few frail strands our own well being is menaced, cutting too many links can rick unraveling it all. But biodiversity can give us an insurance policy.