Biodiversity and its Types

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity or Biological diversity is the differences and variety among the living organisms of all sources. It includes all terrestrial, marine, aquatic, biotic and abiotic components, and other different ecosystems and ecological complexes.

Biodiversity mainly explains the variety of life from genes to ecosystems, including their existences, genetic variations, their habitat, inhabitants and the ecosystem in which they are present and other evolutionary processes that maintain the system functioning, changing and adapting.

Biodiversity plays a significant role in both human life and the natural ecosystem by maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. The loss in biodiversity could cause an adverse effect on our environment, which results in the disturbance of the natural food web and in the continuity of the food chain.

Types of Biodiversity

types of biodiversity

Biodiversity is divided into different components based on the level of variations.

Genetic diversity – It can be defined as the variety expressed at the genetic level by each individual in a species. No two individuals of the same species are exactly similar. For example, humans show a lot of biodiversities among themselves. People living in different regions show a great level of variation.

Species diversity – It is the biodiversity observed within a community. It denotes the number and distribution of species. The number of species in a region varies widely according to the environmental conditions. For example, it is usually observed that a human society residing nearby the water bodies show more species than the one compared to the areas away from water bodies.

Ecological diversity – It is the diversity observed among the ecosystems in a region. Many ecosystems like deserts, rainforests, mangroves, etc., exhibit a vast diversity of life forms residing in them.

Functional Diversity – It is a component of biodiversity that generally concern with the different kinds of things that each organism does in a community and the ecosystem.

Importance of Biodiversity

All these diversities helps in maintaining the balance of nature. But, gradually there has been a loss of biodiversity. The loss of biodiversity could adversely affect our environment as the balance is lost and the natural food web is disturbed. Thus, as we realize its importance in our survival, biodiversity conservation has now become a matter of high priority.

We still have not identified all the species living on the earth but of all the ones identified till now, many have already been marked as extinct. Recently, the rate of extinction has gone high and this is causing direct impact on our earth like overuse of resources at some parts, the overpopulation of some species, etc.. This has created a great imbalance in nature. Thus, the importance of biodiversity has to be understood and actions have to be taken to maintain all the three diversities.

This was a brief introduction to Biodiversity and their types. Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know more in detail about the Biodiversity and its conservation.

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Practise This Question

State whether true or false:
Human beings are the only organisms who are aware of their surroundings.