Biodiversity

Topics: Biodiversity, Species, Federal government of the United States Pages: 9 (1849 words) Published: April 27, 2014
Rachel Newell
Walter Zeller
International Relations
November 18,2013
Loss of Biodiversity

David Ehrenfeld says in his book Biodiversity “The value of biological diversity tells us a great deal about why biological diversity is in trouble”(212). People tend to over look the importance of biodiversity. Without it we would lose a lot of the resources that we use for important and everyday things. One example is that a lot of medicines come from plants, and the more plants we have on the planet, the greater chance we have for find cures to diseases. Having a greater diversity of plants and animals provides us with a variety of foods, and most importantly, Biodiversity shows the beauty of life, and should be shared with generations to come.

Biodiversity has always changed. Since the beginning of time the way the earth and the creatures that inhabit it live together has been in constant motion. In each different time period there have been new and different difficulties for animals and plants to survive, many species learn to adapt to the weather and climate change or even to the destruction of their environment, but many die out because they cannot adapt fast enough with the changing and growing atmosphere they live in. Some species, such as crocodilians have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. They learned to change with the different environments and adapt to different living situations. The shark has also been around for a while and has lived through many different time periods. Its basic function has been the same but the size color and markings have changed to adapt to new food and dangers. When you walk outside and look around, you will see green grass and birds flying around. You might hear the birds singing their songs while the bugs buzz around you, and you may even see worms moving through the soil. All of these things are a part of an ecosystem. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms, such as plants and animals, in conjunction with nonliving components, like air and water, of their environment interacting as a system. Now, biodiversity is the degree of variation of plants, animals and other components. Biologists often define biodiversity as the totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region. Biodiversity occurs wherever there is life, but there are some spots where it is higher; for example marine biodiversity is highest on the Pacific coast. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly. It varies across the world and depends on certain factors such as temperature, precipitation, altitude, soils, geography, and the presence of other species. Given these factors, one can assume that biodiversity is greater in the Tropics and in the Rainforest and less in the Polar Regions. Biodiversity can be broken down into two categories: intraspecific diversity and interspecific diversity. Intraspecific diversity includes the genetic variety within a single species for example, the fox. There are many types of foxes, but they are all part of the same species. Interspecific diversity is when many different species coexist, such as in the rainforest, where there are many different species living together. There has always been a connection between climate change and biodiversity. Climate change has always occurred, and ecosystems have consistently been able to evolve and survive. The difference between then and now is that with the recent climate changes happening so quickly, species are not able to adapt fast enough. Therefore there is an increased loss of biodiversity. David Lutz and his team have recently studied the migration patterns of the Andean Timberline. Lutz suggests that the migration rates will change drastically by the year 2100. Lutz says that they will get slower over time, and this will change some of the forest species in the Andes. “We anticipate that the ecotone, a transition area between two biomes, will be a hard barrier to migration under future climate change, leading to...
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