Why is Biodiversity Important?

Why is Biodiversity Important?

When you think of biodiversity do you imagine a tropical rainforest with a myriad of lush green and flowering plants, teeming with birds, insects, and other creatures? Of course, the rainforests are diverse, but biodiversity is important in our everyday lives as well. Biodiversity is important locally, regionally, nationally, and of course globally.

photo courtesy of proprofs.com

Local biodiversity is important to produce backyard gardens and flowering plants. Without habitat for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators their populations would not be able to cross pollinate plants to produce our decorative flowers and vegetable gardens.

photo courtesy of BBC

Likewise, from a regional standpoint, biodiversity provides for the propagation of fruit trees, agricultural crops. It provides habitat for birds and insects which enrich the soil and transfer seeds throughout natural areas. Providing habitat to some predator species like coyotes and raccoons which keep other species from becoming overpopulated such as rabbits and rodents. A variety of species provides “insurance” against floods and periods of seasonal drought (e.g., Mangrove barriers provide erosion control).

photo courtesy of worldwildlife.org

On a national scale biodiversity provides opportunities including economic, recreational, and cultural. Economic opportunities include exporting excess food production and timber for harvesting. Recreational opportunities are created or preserved by providing a variety of species to protect water resources, providing hunting opportunities and observation of nature. Cultural opportunities include sacred sites which may include historically preserved forests (e.g., redwood forests) or individual species (e.g., Bald Eagles or California Condor).

photo courtesy of treehugger.com

On an international scale biodiversity is important by keeping nature in balance. Globalization has brought invasive species to every shore reducing native floral and fauna in many places. Changing the climate reduces the natural balance of species with a limited range or the ability to adjust in a short amount of time.

Biodiversity is an important element in the cycle of nature and we as humans need to protect the diversity of species for our own continued existence.

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