Definition and scope of biodiversity

NEB Biology Notes

Definition and scope of biodiversity

The richness and variety of living beings i.e. flora and fauna in any location is termed as biodiversity. It is short form of biological diversity. The word biodiversity was coined by W.G. Rosen in 1985 and elaborated by E.O. Wilson in 1988. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on the Earth. Floral and faunal diversity depends on climate, altitude, soil and the presence of other species.

Benefits of biodiversity

The benefits of biodiversity are as follows:

  • Aesthetic value: Biodiversity has made our Earth lively and beautiful.
  • Agricultural value: It helps to increase the agriculture productivity and diseases resistant varieties of crops.
  • Ecological value: it is directly involved in recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils.
  • Food value: it is estimated that 8o% of our food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants.
  • Industrial value: several industrial materials (fibers, resigns, gums, oils etc.) are derived from biological sources.
  • Medicinal value: Numbers of drugs are derived from the biological sources e.g. Antibiotics from microorganism.

Scope of Biodiversity

The knowledge of biodiversity is an outcome of scientific studies by human beings in search of social and economic benefits. The scientific study of biodiversity is based on three major levels:

  • Genetic biodiversity (study at gene level)
  • Species biodiversity (study of varieties of species in nature)
  • Ecosystem biodiversity (species diversity with their habitats)

The scope of biodiversity can be described under following heads:

  • Unifying driving force: Biodiversity is a unifying driving force of several disciplines.
  • Backbone of applied sciences: Biodiversity deals with all biological resources (agriculture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, forestry etc.)
  • Developing better land use pattern: The change in the existing land use must properly plan in order to make it environmentally friendly by understanding biodiversity.
  • Utilization of bio resources: It offers new sources of food, medicine and other human requirements.
  • Societal and cultural context: Biodiversity is purposeful scientific too to bridge social and cultural world.
  • Human development: Biodiversity is the resources on which all human existence depends thus treated as pillar of human development.
  • Basis of General Law: Biodiversity has become the basis of a great law of dynamic stabilization of complex systems.
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