Types of biodiversity
Genetic diversity - the genetic variability within a species. Species diversity - the variety of species within a community Ecosystem diversity - the organisation of species in an area into distinctive plant and animal communities.
Each member of any animal or plant species differs widely from other individuals in its genetic makeup because of the large number of combinations possible in the genes that give every individual specific characteristics. Thus, for example, each human being is very different from all others. This genetic variability is essential for a healthy breeding population of a species. If the number of breeding individuals is reduced, the dissimilarity of genetic makeup is reduced and in-breeding occurs. Eventually this can lead to the extinction of the species. The diversity in wild species forms the ‘gene pool’ from which our crops and domestic animals have been developed over thousands of years. Today the variety of nature’s bounty is being further harnessed by using wild relatives of crop plants to create new varieties of more productive crops and to breed better domestic animals. Modern biotechnology manipulates genes for developing better types of medicines and a variety of industrial products.
The numbers of species of plants and animals that are present in a region constitutes its species diversity. This diversity is seen both in natural ecosystems and in agricultural ecosystems. Some areas are more rich in species than others. Natural undisturbed tropical forests...