Importance Of Biodiversity & Ecosystems
Biological resources are the foundation of our existence, and there is a serious threat to their wellbeing. In order for us to survive we must protect Ecosystems in every way possible.
Biological resources are critically important as they provide humans with necessary food items, resources, and medications to name a few. Without stable ecosystems it is easy for food chains to collapse which in turn will leave humans without the necessities to live. We have been thriving because of these biological sources throughout history; however, now we are realizing that they may not last forever if proper steps aren't taken soon enough. It’s sad to say but this can actually lead mankind into extinction should these incredibly crucial ecosystems collapse due to our involvement in pollution, unsustainable practices, wastefulness, and reliance on fossil fuels.
This is exactly why we need to take great care of our planet, otherwise it will end up being severely damaged in the long run. What you need to do is to understand what is biodiversity, why is biodiversity important, why are ecosystems important and what you can do in order to make the right changes. Knowing the importance of ecosystems and their biodiversity is crucial, and this knowledge can indeed make a huge difference.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is a term used for describing different types and varieties of plants and animals within any particular habitat such as an ecosystem or biome. In order for our planet to thrive, there are different species, each one with their own role relative to an ecosystem. There are also different ecosystems like coral reefs, rainforests and deserts. The fact that we have so many different microorganisms, animals and plants is the thing that really makes Earth so unique and diverse, but ultimately it is what also helps life survive on our planet. Biodiversity is crucial because without a vast range of various species, we would not be able to have the important resources for wildlife populations, society, and vegetation. A decline in biodiversity is something that Is definitely not good, since it can lead to some major problems in the long run.
Importance of biodiversity
What is the importance of biodiversity? What we need to understand is that biodiversity helps boost the productivity and sustainability of our ecosystems. Every species has its role to play on our planet. If one species or thousands get removed, then there’s a decline in biodiversity and it automatically affects our planet.
Biodiversity is crucial because it gives the surrounding environment stability and balance. For example, you can think of an ecosystem as a pyramid-like structure where different species occupy ecological niches at each level from top to bottom. When one organism dies out or leaves that niche in some way (e.g., disruption by climate change), another will move up to fill its place but also bring with them their own unique set of skills needed for survival within this new community setting (i.e., food chain). However, if there are too many changes happening all at once due to habitat loss/destruction & other factors such as overpopulation or pollution
Just think about it, multiple types of plants can bring in a vast array of resources for both humans and our animal counterparts. A large range of animal species can bring sustainability to the food chain and provide food for people. Ecosystems can also help lessen the impact of natural disaster, one perfect is example are mangrove tree ecosystems. Mangrove trees typically grow along coastal areas by the water of oceans. They are a perfect example of an ecosystem producer that helps with soil retention and erosion, reducing the impact of storm waves, providing shelter for animal species and insects, and providing resources to both humans and animals. Without the diversity of mangroves and what they offer to their relative ecosystem, many other elements and creatures of the ecosystem would falter without the support of the mangrove trees.
Why is biodiversity important to ecosystems?
Biodiversity is important to ecosystems because it creates an endless variety of different species that are all interdependent on each other. This results in a complex food web and ecosystem where one organism’s waste can be used by another, allowing for more robust survival rates than if there was only the same type of organisms present together. An ecosystem with fewer species – such as those with only one tree – is also more vulnerable to pests and disease.
What we need to keep in mind is that healthy biodiversity is crucial to create growth and life within an ecosystem. For example, a forest ecosystem will benefit greatly from ground plant life biodiversity which in turn will help support insect life which will then help the animals that rely on said insects for food. Another example would be that some animals eat a specific diet of certain plants or prey, when a species dies or is no longer part of the ecosystem, those animals which rely on them will be greatly affected. An example of how just one species extinction can greatly impact others is that of koalas and their reliance on Eucalyptus trees for food and their habitat. Without the eucalyptus tree forests, koalas would cease to exist.
What makes up an ecosystem?
We can define an ecosystem as a geographic area where various organisms like animals, plants, insects, and microorganisms create a complex web of interconnected life and food chains within a certain landscape. The important thing to note here is that ecosystems have living, biotic parts as well as nonliving parts. All of these are specific to a certain area. We need to ensure that every ecosystem is protected, and in order to do that we must have biodiversity.
The makeup of an ecosystem is what determines how it functions and its sustainability. The functions of a healthy ecosystem include storing energy, recycling materials, capturing a share of solar radiation for photosynthesis, storing water in soils and regulating world weather patterns.
Each ecosystem includes different organisms and processes that support it. In order for an ecosystem to sustain itself, each element must be able to thrive and reproduce indefinitely. Each of these components is necessary in the production of natural resources as well as forming a food chain or web within the system. Although every type of ecological community has unique features, all living creatures within an ecosystem are subject to environmental influences that may one day lead them to become endangered or extinct species.
What is an ecosystem producer?
There are different types of beings in an ecosystem. You have producers, consumers and decomposers. Each one has their own, predefined role, and it’s crucial to understand what that role is, as it can make a huge difference especially in the long term.
An ecosystem producer is an organism in which the energy produced by its environment flows directly into its food web, and it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Producer species are those that take light energy from the sun or chemical energy from air, water or earth, and produce organic forms of life. Creatures in the following classification kingdoms might be considered producers: plants, algae, phytoplankton, and bacteria to name a few.
The rest of life finds energy from producers. Herbivores eat plants, algae and phytoplankton. Carnivores eat herbivores. Pollinators live from plants and flowers. Decomposers break down dead plants, animals and fungi. Each time one level eats another, the biomass or amount of living material decreases as it is transferred from one to another in a food chain or web of life. Producers are by far the most populous form of life on Earth because they produce organic matter that can make more creatures.
Then we have consumers. In this category we can include pretty much any organism that’s not able to make their own food. What this means is that consumers have to feed on either producers or other consumers in order to survive. For example deer are consumers that that rely only on plants (producers) as herbivores, but you also have bears that are omnivores and they eat plants (plants) and other animals (consumers) as well. There are a plethora of consumer species, and they are all relying on other consumers or producers within an ecosystem.
Animals are visible members of a given ecosystem. They feed on primary producers such as plants and fungi. This is known as bioturbation, because the animals digging/eating up through sediment disturbs it. As well as herbivores (plant eaters), there are carnivores that eat other animals in the food web. Carnivores can be further divided into sit-and-wait predators like pythons or net-hunting lions; or active hunters such as wolves and big cats – hunting in packs. Some animals are pollinators, like bees and some animals are decomposers – breaking down dead organic matter; or detritivores - invertebrates that feed on decomposing animal bodies, algae and fungi.
Of course, an ecosystem can’t live without its own decomposers. These are organisms which feed on either waste from living organisms or dead organisms. You can see decomposers as the garbage men of the animal kingdom, because they take all the dead organisms and they break them down into nutrients and components and then recycle them back into the ecosystem. This way plants can use all these compounds to generate more food. As you can see, dead consumers and producers go back into nature, and the cycle repeats itself, which is very impressive. That’s why decomposers have a major role when it comes to the health of every ecosystem. Without ecosystem producers, ecosystem consumers, and ecosystem decomposers, our planet would not be able to survive.
What are different types of ecosystems?
Ecosystems can be terrestrial (land), freshwater (swamps) or marine (ocean).
Vegetated areas, like forests and fields, host a huge variety of life forms across different trophic levels. There are seven major types of terrestrial ecosystems: chaparral, deciduous forest, evergreen forest/woodland, grasslands and savannas - usually with trees here and there), mangrove swamps, rainforest and tundra.
In the aquatic world there are three major types of ecosystems which depend on depth from the surface: high seas or open ocean ecosystems- made up of microscopic organisms such as algae, bacteria and diatoms; coastal habitats – often home to millions of species, including zooplankton (animals) and seagrass (plants); and benthic habitats - the ocean bottom also home to countless species, which often live symbiotically with each other.
And lastly, in the case of human-influenced ecosystems, like cities and gardens, life forms are mostly interconnected through a shared ecosystem service which is energy flow. An example is photosynthesis or food production of plants (food web). People may also refer to these as "built" or "artificial" ecosystems because they would not exist without human intervention.
Many of these ecosystems are studied to get a better understanding of how different life forms interact with each other and the environment. Knowledge from such studies can be applied to improve food production, reduce waste, increase conservation efforts or prevent certain catastrophes like oil spills.
The most important aspect to keep in mind is that every ecosystem has its own rules, producers, consumers and decomposers. If there’s a lack of biodiversity in that ecosystem, then it’s severely affected and that can lead to major problems in the long term. That’s why we need to preserve the biodiversity and integrity of ecosystems, otherwise ecosystems will be subject to collapse.
Why ecosystems are important
Ecosystems and biomes support life on Earth. Creatures like humans and animals need food, air and water to nourish them, and where all of this exists together, we call it an ecosystem.
Earth is divided into a variety of ecosystems: forests, deserts, wetlands as well as areas that have been disturbed by human activity such as farms or cityscapes. As these ecosystems change over time they affect what can be found locally in terms of both plant and animal life. Sometimes they change so dramatically that the conditions are no longer suitable for those who lived there before - a great example might be a wetland where natural conditions have changed due to climate change making it too dry for many amphibians to survive during the breeding season. When this happens whole communities of creatures either disappear or shift to another area, which can also lead to the extinction of a species.
Ecosystems are important for humans because they help provide us with food, fuel, building material and more. Ecosystems also serve as a source of entertainment as well as a place to find relief from the natural elements of weather and temperature shifts. All creatures have needs that must be met in order for them to thrive – just like we do – and ecosystems give us those necessities for life: clean air, food, resources, shelter, safe drinking water, fertile soil rich in minerals and energy sources.
What Are Biomes?
A biome is a type of environment on earth. Biomes are classified based on the climates they have and the plants, animals, and soils that live there.
A biome is more than just an ecosystem; it's any area on earth with some distinct physical characteristics--including space, air, water, soil and living things. There are lots of biomes in the world: rainforest / desert / grassland / ocean surface (plankton) etc. These biomes all have certain geographical distributions of plants and animals that can be assigned to them based around adaptations to very specific environmental conditions like climate or habitat.
In addition to visible members of an ecosystem, there is the microbial biome which is made up of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, archaea and protists, most of which cannot be seen without a microscope. This biome includes chemosynthetic bacteria around deep sea vents which live off inorganic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide.
Biomes can also be split into two major types: freshwater biomes (freshwater lakes and rivers) and marine/brackish water biomes (salt water oceans).
Freshwater biomes include lakes, swamps, rivers and wetlands. These habitats are home to a wide variety of plant species including algae (which is photosynthetic) and seagrass which grows in shallow marine waters along coastlines. There are also aquatic plants that rise above the surface such as duckweed and water lilies.
Aquatic biome animals include plankton – very small animals sometimes referred to as ocean drifters; rainforest river fish like the Amazon dolphin, sturgeons and blackberry catfish - all adapted to their respective freshwater habitats; salt-adapted birds such as gulls, terns and flamingos; marine mammals like whales. Marine/brackish water biomes host countless types of fish, like the commercially important carp and tilapia.
Common biome animals include those that live in soil or swim on the surface of water: crayfish, shrimp, earthworms, ground beetles, leeches and frogs. Other terrestrial biome animals include rodents such as prairie dogs and gophers (which have adapted to grassland habitats); and deer, which live in a wide variety of biomes.
How to help ecosystems?
A healthy ecosystem depends on the health of its organisms. Consequently, it is essential to take care of all plants and animals in order to keep an ecosystem alive. When one organism dies off or becomes extinct, other creatures are affected as well because they rely upon that species for food or shelter. The loss also impacts future generations by compromising a potential breeding ground, when this occurs the result is that there may not be enough biodiversity within ecosystems anymore to support the rest of the ecosystem itself.
Human beings have a responsibility to take care of our environment. We can do this by harvesting natural resources in an environmentally friendly way, protecting species that are endangered or threatened with extinction and taking measures to improve the quality of air we breathe and our vast waterways and oceans.
Human beings should be responsible about how they harvest from their environments because if not it will impact other organisms within these ecosystems due to lack of balance. To help make sure human behavior doesn't interfere with nature's well-being humans can protect animals who may become extinct such as polar bears which depend on sea ice habitats being intact so they don't overhunt them or so they have the proper shelter needed to survive.
It’s imperative to do everything we can in order to save our planet. Saving ecosystems might seem hard to do, but it’s something that must be done in order to ultimately save ourselves. The great thing is that once you understand how your impact makes a difference (no matter how big or small), you will feel great knowing that you are doing your part for future generations to come!
Below is a short list of ways to make a positive impact on our environment and how to help ecosystems. We have a full list of simple ways do your part to help the ecosystem on our planet and ultimately help the environment that we so desperately depend on for life on earth as we know it!
- Drive less, and instead focus on using alternative transportation methods like biking. It might not seem a whole lot, but it can bring in a great way to keep our society safe.
- Reduce the use of items, recycle as much as possible, and the ecosystems will not be damaged as much as they are right now.
- Conserve water, because there will be less waste water and runoff water going into the ocean.
- Avoid putting chemicals into the waterways. Eventually, these end up in various ecosystems and they damage the environment more than you imagine.
- Also, avoid wasting energy. Use energy efficient light bulbs if possible and conserve energy as much as you can.
- Plant trees in the adequate ecosystems, as they are the producers that every ecosystem needs in order to survive.
- Go for sustainable products and limit one-time-use products.
All these tips and tricks can help you protect the ecosystems, while saving our planet. Even if it might not seem like a lot, you do play a major role in the grand scheme of things. That’s why we encourage you to learn more about biodiversity and the crucial importance of ecosystems for our planet. As soon as start implementing the ideas above, you too can make a difference before it’s too late!