Biodiversity: One Small Step for Man, a Giant Leap for Future Generations

Topics: Human, Natural environment, Ecosystem Pages: 6 (1892 words) Published: April 5, 2013
The continued existence of the human race depends greatly on nature, whether they recognize that fact or not. Nature’s resources are what we depend on heavily for our survival, yet nature depends on other species and organisms to be able to provide the resources being used up. However, humans do not recognize that they are not only beneficiaries of nature; they also have a role to play in replenishing nature’s stock of resources. It is mostly a symbiotc relationship that humans have with nature and the other forms of life; species require habitats to live as do humans; yet, most humans perceive their role in Earth as parasitic. According to Shah (2011), in his article “Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?”, “Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play;” but, mankind’s habits are well-known to disregard any attention to world they live in; however, conservation of the environment’s biodiversity is important for the continuance of the human race. Prior to explaining the importance of biodiversity and its role in nature, the terms ecosystem and biodiversity have to be defined; also, their relationship and importance must be highlighted. To begin with, an ecosystem is a “biological community that occurs in some locale and the physical and chemical factors that make up its non-living or abiotic environment” (The Concept, 2008). Simply put, an ecosystem is an area where plants and animals (flora and fauna) as well as other living and non-living organisms help each other in their daily survival, whether it is for food, shelter, or a living habitat. Forests and lakes are examples of ecosystems; a forest has flora (vegetation) and fauna (animals) depend on one another for their survival. To elaborate, some animals, herbivores mainly, depend on the flora for their food, and other animals including squirrels and such depend on the flora for their shelter. In return, the animals help the flora continue their existence through natural fertilization of the earth, other fauna, mainly bees, help in floral reproduction during the process of pollination by carrying the pollen grains from one flower to another. Biodiversity, on the other hand, is simply explained as the variety of life forms around us, including forests, deserts, species, micro-organisms, and so on (Shah [1], 2011; Faith, 2008). According to Naeem et. al (1999), “ecosystem processes are controlled by both the diversity and identity of the plant, animal, and microbial species living within a community”; meaning that ecosystems depend on biodiversity. Different animals and plants require different habitats to live in. “While there might be “survival of the fittest” within a given species, each species depends on the services provided by other species to ensure survival. It is a type of cooperation based on mutual survival and is often what a “balanced ecosystem” refers to” (Shah [1]); for example, a polar bear will not be able to survive in any region with high temperatures because its furry and its body is made to sustain heat and keep the animal warm; therefore, in a desert, firstly a polar bear will not be able to withstand the heat; secondly, if it does overcome the temperature obstacle, it will not find anything that its diet is accustomed to such as fish. Therefore, this illustrates how biodiversity and ecosystems are related in some manner. Furthermore, ecosystems are not limited to flora, fauna, water reserves, soil, and so on; humans are included. Human beings also play a role in the ecosystem, a role that is quite similar to that of animals – in a simple scenario, they use the flora in their dietary habits, to build shelter, and make materials to assist them in life; in turn, they farm and replant trees increasing the flora around them. Moreover, since biodiversity defines the variety of species around us, that presents humans with multiple options, whether it is for food, decorations,...

References: 1. Shah, A. (2011) “Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?.” Global Issues.. Retrieved from: .
2. Shah, A. (2011) “Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions.” Global Issues. Retrieved from: .
3. Shah, A. (2011) “Addressing Biodiversity Loss.” Global Issues. .
4. Impacts on Biodiversity ( n.d.). Quebec Biodiversity. Retrieved from:
5. Faith, Daniel P., "Biodiversity", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from: .
6. Naeem, S. et. al (1999). Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Maintaining Natural Life Support Process. Issues in Ecology. Issue 4. Retrieved from:
7. UNEP. “Mission”. Retrieved from:
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