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Understanding biodiversity

- Biodiversity is a measure that represents the diversity of life, either in a local scale or at a global scale.

- Biodiversity is highly dependent on local conditions, and some regions have a higher biodiversity than others.

- Tropical forests have the highest biodiversity on Earth, representing about 10% of land mass and including about 90% of Earth's biodiversity.

- Selection and evolution can explain the biodiversity we observe (see lesson on evolution here).

- Humans activities are often a threat to biodiversity, and lowered biodiversity can lead to ecological collapse (see humans' impact on nature here).

Ecosystem services

- Healthy, functional ecosystems usually are self-sustained and allow the occurrence of many species.

- Some species, such as crops, pollinating insects or trees are used by humans to produce resources like food or raw materials.

- The benefits that ecosystems give to human societies is called ecosystem services.

- Losing biodiversity usually results in loss of ecosystem services.

- It is however possible to restore biodiversity through actions like planting forests or protecting areas.



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