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Encyclopedia > Biodiversity
Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth
Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth

Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 699 KB) Photographer: Sze Ning from Malaysia Title: View from Bukit Terisek Taken on: 2004-11-12 10:19:13 Original source: Flickr. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 699 KB) Photographer: Sze Ning from Malaysia Title: View from Bukit Terisek Taken on: 2004-11-12 10:19:13 Original source: Flickr. ... For the novel, see Rainforest (novel). ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... This article is about life in general. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... A biome is a climatically and geographically defined area of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often referred to as ecosystems. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... An example of a system: The nervous system. ...


Biodiversity found on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species, which is the product of four billion years of evolution. For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... This article is about evolution in biology. ...

Contents

Evolution and meaning

Biodiversity is a neologism and portmanteau word, from biology and diversity. The Science Division of The Nature Conservancy used the term "natural diversity" in a 1975 study, "The Preservation of Natural Diversity." The term biological diversity was used even before that by conservation scientists like Robert E. Jenkins and Thomas Lovejoy. The word biodiversity itself may have been coined by W.G. Rosen in 1985 while planning the National Forum on Biological Diversity organized by the National Research Council (NRC) which was to be held in 1986, and first appeared in a publication in 1988 when entomologist E. O. Wilson used it as the title of the proceedings[1] of that forum.[2] The word biodiversity was deemed more effective in terms of communication than biological diversity A neologism is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (or coined), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... A portmanteau (IPA: ) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning. ... For the song by Girls Aloud see Biology (song) Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: Βιολογία - βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, speech lit. ... This article is about the US organization called The Nature Conservancy. ... Thomas E. Lovejoy is chief biodiversity adviser to the president of the World Bank, senior adviser to the president of the United Nations Foundation, and president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. ... The National Research Council (NRC) of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the United States National Academy of Engineering, carrying out most of the studies done in their names. ... Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929) is an American biologist (Myrmecology, a branch of entomology), researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), and naturalist (conservationism). ... Proceedings are the collection of academic papers that are published in the context of a conference. ...


Since 1986 the terms and the concept have achieved widespread use among biologists, environmentalists, political leaders, and concerned citizens worldwide. It is generally used to equate to a concern for the natural environment and nature conservation. This use has coincided with the expansion of concern over extinction observed in the last decades of the 20th century. For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ...


The term "natural heritage" pre-dates "biodiversity", though it is a less scientific term and more easily comprehended in some ways by the wider audience interested in conservation. "Natural Heritage" was used when Jimmy Carter set up the Georgia Heritage Trust while he was governor of Georgia; Carter's trust dealt with both natural and cultural heritage. It would appear that Carter picked the term up from Lyndon Johnson, who used it in a 1966 Message to Congress. "Natural Heritage" was picked up by the Science Division of The Nature Conservancy when, under Jenkins, it launched in 1974 the network of State Natural Heritage Programs. When this network was extended outside the USA, the term "Conservation Data Center" was suggested by Guillermo Mann and came to be preferred. For other persons named Jimmy Carter, see Jimmy Carter (disambiguation). ... Cultural heritage (national heritage or just heritage) is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. ... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908–January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician. ... This article is about the US organization called The Nature Conservancy. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized...


Definitions

The most straightforward definition is "variation of life at all levels of biological organization".[3] A second definition holds that biodiversity is a measure of the relative diversity among organisms present in different ecosystems. "Diversity" in this definition includes diversity within a species and among species, and comparative diversity among ecosystems.


A third definition that is often used by ecologists is the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it seems to describe most circumstances and present a unified view of the traditional three levels at which biodiversity has been identified:

The 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro defined "biodiversity" as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, 'inter alia', terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems". This is, in fact, the closest thing to a single legally accepted definition of biodiversity, since it is the definition adopted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ... Species diversity refers to the number and distribution of species in one location. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Ecosystem diversity refers to the diversity of a place at the level of ecosystems. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... UN redirects here. ... The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit (or, in Portuguese, Eco 92) was a major conference held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to June 14, 1992. ... This article is about the Brazilian city. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Marine is an umbrella term for things relating to the ocean, as with marine biology, marine geology, and as a term for a navy, etc. ... Various species of reef fish in the Hawaiian Islands. ... The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. ...


If the gene is the fundamental unit of natural selection, according to E. O. Wilson, the real biodiversity is genetic diversity. For geneticists, biodiversity is the diversity of genes and organisms. They study processes such as mutations, gene exchanges, and genome dynamics that occur at the DNA level and generate evolution. For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... A geneticist is a scientist who studies genetics, the science of heredity and variation of organisms. ... Domains and Kingdoms Nanobes Acytota Cytota Bacteria Neomura Archaea Eukaryota Bikonta Apusozoa Rhizaria Excavata Archaeplastida Rhodophyta Glaucophyta Plantae Heterokontophyta Haptophyta Cryptophyta Alveolata Unikonta Amoebozoa Opisthokonta Choanozoa Fungi Animalia An ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Life on Earth redirects here. ...


For ecologists, biodiversity is also the diversity of durable interactions among species. It not only applies to species, but also to their immediate environment (biotope) and their larger ecoregion. In each ecosystem, living organisms are part of a whole, interacting with not only other organisms, but also with the air, water, and soil that surround them.. An ecologist studies the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. ... Biotope is an English loanword derived from the German Biotop, which in turn came from the Greek bios=life or organism and topos=place. (The related word geotope has made its way into the English language by the same route, from the German Geotop.) So a biotope is literally an... An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ...


Measurement

Biodiversity is a broad concept, so a variety of objective measures have been created in order to empirically measure biodiversity. Each measure of biodiversity relates to a particular use of the data. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. ...


For practical conservationists, this measure should quantify a value that is broadly shared among locally affected people. For others, a more economically defensible definition should allow the ensuring of continued possibilities for both adaptation and future use by people, assuring environmental sustainability. Conservationists are those people who tend to more highly rank the wise use of the Earths resources and ecosystems. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ...


As a consequence, biologists argue that this measure is likely to be associated with the variety of genes. Since it cannot always be said which genes are more likely to prove beneficial, the best choice for conservation is to assure the persistence of as many genes as possible. For ecologists, this latter approach is sometimes considered too restrictive, as it prohibits ecological succession. The conservation ethic is an ethic of resource use, allocation, exploitation, and protection. ... Secondary succession: trees are colonizing uncultivated fields and meadows. ...


Biodiversity is usually plotted as taxonomic richness of a geographic area, with some reference to a temporal scale. Whittaker[4] described three common metrics used to measure species-level biodiversity, encompassing attention to species richness or species evenness: Robert Whittaker (1920-1980) was an American vegetation ecologist, active in the 1950s through the 1970s. ... Species richness is the simplest measure of biodiversity and is simply a count of the number of different species in a given area. ... Species evenness is a measure of biodiversity which quantifies how equal the populations are numerically. ...

There are three other indices which are used by ecologists: Species richness is the simplest measure of biodiversity and is simply a count of the number of different species in a given area. ... Simpsons Diversity Index is a measure of diversity. ... The Shannon index (also called the Shannon–Wiener index or, incorrectly the Shannon–Weaver indexor even more incorrect Shannon-Weiner Index [1]) is one of several diversity indices used to measure biodiversity. ...

  • Alpha diversity refers to diversity within a particular area, community or ecosystem, and is measured by counting the number of taxa within the ecosystem (usually species)
  • Beta diversity is species diversity between ecosystems; this involves comparing the number of taxa that are unique to each of the ecosystems.
  • Gamma diversity is a measure of the overall diversity for different ecosystems within a region.

Alpha diversity (α-diversity) is the biodiversity within a particular area, community or ecosystem, and is measured by counting the number of taxa within the ecosystem (usually species). ... Beta diversity (β-diversity) is a measure of biodiversity which works by comparing the species diversity between ecosystems. ... In biology and ecology endemic means exclusively native to a place or biota, in contrast to cosmopolitan or introduced. ... Gamma diversity (γ-diversity) is a measure of biodiversity. ...

Distribution

Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth. It is consistently richer in the tropics and in other localized regions such as the California Floristic Province. As one approaches polar regions one generally finds fewer species. Flora and fauna diversity depends on climate, altitude, soils and the presence of other species. In the year 2006 large numbers of the Earth's species were formally classified as rare or endangered or threatened species; moreover, many scientists have estimated that there are millions more species actually endangered which have not yet been formally recognized. About 40 percent of the 40,177 species assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria, are now listed as threatened species with extinction - a total of 16,119 species.[5] A noontime scene from the Philippines on a day when the Sun is almost directly overhead. ... The California Floristic Province is a biodiversity hotspot as defined by UNESCO, located on the West Coast of North America. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ... Rare species is an organism which is very uncommon or scarce. ... The Siberian Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that are critically endangered. ... The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List and Red Data List), created in 1963, is the worlds most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species and can be found here. ...


A biodiversity hotspot is a region with a high level of endemic species. These biodiversity hotspots were first identified by Dr. Norman Myers in two articles in the scientific journal The Environmentalist.[6][7] Dense human habitation tends to occur near hotspots. Most hotspots are located in the tropics and most of them are forests. This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Endemic, in a broad sense, can mean belonging or native to, characteristic of, or prevalent in a particular geography, race, field, area, or environment; Native to an area or scope. ... Dr Norman Myers CMG (24 August 1934- ) is a British environmentalist and authority on biodiversity. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... A noontime scene from the Philippines on a day when the Sun is almost directly overhead. ...


Brazil's Atlantic Forest is considered a hotspot of biodiversity and contains roughly 20,000 plant species, 1350 vertebrates, and millions of insects, about half of which occur nowhere else in the world. The island of Madagascar including the unique Madagascar dry deciduous forests and lowland rainforests possess a very high ratio of species endemism and biodiversity, since the island separated from mainland Africa 65 million years ago, most of the species and ecosystems have evolved independently producing unique species different from those in other parts of Africa. Araucaria moist forest in Curitiba, Paraná The Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica in Portuguese) is a region of tropical and subtropical moist forest, tropical dry forest, tropical savannas, and mangrove forests which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil from Rio Grande do Norte state in the north to Rio... Aerial photo of a portion of the Anjajavy Forest, inset by a swath of mangrove riparian forest. ... Endemic, in a broad sense, can mean belonging or native to, characteristic of, or prevalent in a particular geography, race, field, area, or environment; Native to an area or scope. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...


Many regions of high biodiversity (as well as high endemism) arise from very specialized habitats which require unusual adaptation mechanisms. For example the peat bogs of Northern Europe and the alvar regions such as the Stora Alvaret on Oland, Sweden host a large diversity of plants and animals, many of which are not found elsewhere. Endemic, in a broad sense, can mean belonging or native to, characteristic of, or prevalent in a particular geography, race, field, area, or environment; Native to an area or scope. ... Look up habitat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lütt-Witt Moor, a bog in Henstedt-Ulzburg in northern Germany. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Stora Alvaret on southeast of Öland with Eketorp Fortress in background. ... Oland (Danish: Øland, Frisian: Ualöönist) is a Hallig, a small island belonging to the North Frisian Islands of Germany. ...


Evolution

Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic
Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic

Biodiversity found on Earth today is the result of 4 billion years of evolution. The origin of life has not been definitely established by science, however some evidence suggests that life may already have been well-established a few hundred million years after the formation of the Earth. Until approximately 600 million years ago, all life consisted of bacteria and similar single-celled organisms. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... During the Phanerozoic the biodiversity shows a steady but not monotonic increase from near zero to several thousands of genera. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... For the definition, see Life. ... Earth as seen from Apollo 17 Modern geologists consider the age of the Earth to be around 4. ... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ...


The history of biodiversity during the Phanerozoic (the last 540 million years), starts with rapid growth during the Cambrian explosion—a period during which nearly every phylum of multicellular organisms first appeared. Over the next 400 million years or so, global diversity showed little overall trend, but was marked by periodic, massive losses of diversity classified as mass extinction events. During the Phanerozoic the biodiversity shows a steady but not monotonic increase from near zero to several thousands of genera. ... The Cambrian explosion is the geologically kukko sudden appearance in the fossil record of the ancestors of familiar animals, starting about 542 million years ago (Mya). ... Phylum (plural: phyla) is a taxon used in the classification of animals, adopted from the Greek phylai the clan-based voting groups in Greek city-states. ... Wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite stained to highlight the nuclei of all cells Multicellular organisms are organisms consisting of more than one cell, and having differentiated cells that perform specialized functions. ... An extinction event (also extinction-level event, ELE) is a period in time when a large number of species die out. ...


The apparent biodiversity shown in the fossil record suggests that the last few million years include the period of greatest biodiversity in the Earth's history. However, not all scientists support this view, since there is considerable uncertainty as to how strongly the fossil record is biased by the greater availability and preservation of recent geologic sections. Some (e.g. Alroy et al. 2001) argue that corrected for sampling artifacts, modern biodiversity is not much different from biodiversity 300 million years ago.[8] Estimates of the present global macroscopic species diversity vary from 2 million to 100 million species, with a best estimate of somewhere near 13-14 million, the vast majority of them arthropods.[9] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Fossil. ... Geological time put in a diagram called a geological clock, showing the relative lengths of the eons of the Earths history. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ...


Most biologists agree however that the period since the emergence of humans is part of a new mass extinction, the Holocene extinction event, caused primarily by the impact humans are having on the environment. It has been argued that the present rate of extinction is sufficient to eliminate most species on the planet Earth within 100 years.[10] The Dodo, a bird of Mauritius, became extinct during the mid-late seventeenth century after humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes and introduced animals that ate their eggs. ...


New species are regularly discovered (on average between 5-10,000 new species each year, most of them insects) and many, though discovered, are not yet classified (estimates are that nearly 90% of all arthropods are not yet classified).[9] Most of the terrestrial diversity is found in tropical forests. Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical rain forests, are a tropical and subtropical biome. ...


Benefits

There are a multitude of anthropocentric benefits of biodiversity in the areas of agriculture, science and medicine, industrial materials, ecological services, in leisure, and in cultural, aesthetic and intellectual value. Biodiversity is also central to an ecocentric philosophy. It is important for contemporary audiences to understand the reasons for believing in conservation of biodiversity. One way to identify the reasons why we believe in it is to look at what we get from biological diversity and the things that we lose as a result of species extinction, which has taken place over the last 600 years. Mass extinction is the direct result of human activity and not of natural phenomena which is the perception of many modern day thinkers. There are many benefits that are obtained from natural ecosystem processes. Some ecosystem services that benefit society are air quality, climate (both global Co2 sequestration and regional and local), water purification, disease control, biological pest control, pollination and prevention of erosion. Along with those come non- material benefits that are obtained from ecosystems which are spiritual and aesthetic values, knowledge systems and the value of education that we obtain today. However, the public remains unaware of the crisis in sustaining biodiversity. Biodiversity takes a look into the importance to life and provides modern audiences with a clear understanding of the current threat to life on Earth. Anthropocentrism (Greek άνθρωπος, anthropos, man, human being, κέντρον, kentron, center) is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. ... Ecocentrism or physiocentrism is a synonym for biocentrism, but differs in that it does not principally distinguish between living and non living forms of nature. ...


Agriculture

For some foodcrops and other economic crops, wild varieties of the domesticated species can be reintroduced to form a better variety than the previous (domesticated) species. The economic impact is gigantic, for even crops as common as the potato (which was bred through only one variety, brought back from the Inca), a lot more can come from these species. Wild varieties of the potato will all suffer enormously through the effects of climate change. A report by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) describes the huge economic loss. Rice, which has been improved for thousands of years by humans, can through the same process regain some of its nutritional value that has been lost since (a project is already being carried out to do just this).


Crop diversity is also necessary to help the system recover when the dominant crop type is attacked by a disease:

  • The Irish potato blight of 1846, which was a major factor in the deaths of a million people and migration of another million, was the result of planting only two potato varieties, both of which were vulnerable.
  • When the rice grassy stunt virus struck rice fields from Indonesia to India in the 1970s, 6273 varieties were tested. Only one was luckily found to be resistant, a relatively feeble Indian variety, known to science only since 1966, with the desired trait. It was hybridised with other varieties and now widely grown.
  • In 1970, coffee rust attacked coffee plantations in Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Central America. A resistant variety was found in Ethiopia, coffee's presumed homeland, which mitigated the rust epidemic.[11]

Monoculture, the lack of biodiversity, was a contributing factor to several agricultural disasters in history, including the Irish Potato Famine, the European wine industry collapse in the late 1800s, and the US Southern Corn Leaf Blight epidemic of 1970.[12] See also: Agricultural biodiversity Synonyms rice rosette Philippines virus probably rice rosette virus Rice grassy stunt virus (RGSV) is a plant pathogenic virus. ... Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity. ... For other uses, please see Great Famine. ... Unusual and wild strains of maize are collected to increase the crop diversity when selectively breeding domestic corn. ...


Higher biodiversity also controls the spread of certain diseases as pathogens will need adapt to infect different species.


Biodiversity provides food for humans. Although about 80 percent of our food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants, humans use at least 40,000 species of plants and animals a day. Many people around the world depend on these species for their food, shelter, and clothing. There is untapped potential for increasing the range of food products suitable for human consumption, provided that the high present extinction rate can be stopped.[10]


Science and medicine

A significant proportion of drugs are derived, directly or indirectly, from biological sources; in most cases these medicines can not presently be synthesized in a laboratory setting. About 40% of the pharmaceuticals used in the US are manufactured using natural compounds found in plants, animals, and microorganisms. Moreover, only a small proportion of the total diversity of plants has been thoroughly investigated for potential sources of new drugs. Many drugs are also derived from microorganisms. A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10,000 times. ...


Through the field of bionics, considerable technological advancement has occurred which would not have without a rich biodiversity. .. Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. ...


Industrial materials

A wide range of industrial materials are derived directly from biological resources. These include building materials, fibers, dyes, resins, gums, adhesives, rubber and oil. There is enormous potential for further research into sustainably utilizing materials from a wider diversity of organisms.


Other ecological services

Biodiversity provides many ecosystem services that are often not readily visible. It plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply. Biodiversity is directly involved in recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled environments have shown that humans cannot easily build ecosystems to support human needs; for example insect pollination cannot be mimicked by human-made construction, and that activity alone represents tens of billions of dollars in ecosystem services per annum to humankind. Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. ... Atmospheres redirects here. ... Water supply is the process of self-provision or provision by third parties of water of various qualities to different users. ... A nutrient is a substance used in an organisms metabolism which must be taken in from the environment. ... Closeup of a bee pollinating a flower Entomophily is a form of pollination whereby pollen is distributed by insects, particularly bees, Lepidoptera (e. ... Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. ...


Leisure, cultural and aesthetic value

Many people derive value from biodiversity through leisure activities such as hiking in the countryside, birdwatching or natural history study. Two hikers in the Mount Hood National Forest Eagle Creek hiking Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. ... Birdwatching or birding is the observation and study of birds. ...


Biodiversity has inspired musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists. Many cultural groups view themselves as an integral part of the natural world and show respect for other living organisms. For the popular-music magazine, see Musician (magazine). ...


Popular activities such as gardening, caring for aquariums and collecting butterflies are all strongly dependent on biodiversity. The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the great majority do not enter mainstream commercialism.


The relationships between the original natural areas of these often 'exotic' animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood. It seems clear, however, that the general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms-- they recognize their inherent value at some level, even if they would not want the responsibility of caring for them. A family outing to the botanical garden or zoo is as much an aesthetic or cultural experience as it is an educational one. In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living being. ... Inside the United States Botanic Garden Washington, D.C. Botanical gardens grow a wide variety of plants primarily categorized and documented for scientific purposes. ...


Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and/or spiritual value to mankind in and of itself. This idea can be used as a counterweight to the rather notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because they may contain medicines or useful products. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical rain forests, are a tropical and subtropical biome. ...


Hindrances

Funds

Humans have generally expanded and developed their territory throughout history. An active approach is the only way to halt the expansion but this often requires funds or wise stewardship. Currently the United States Environmental Protection Agency has an annual budget of $7.3 billion (2007).[13]


Preservation of invertebrate and plant species

Biodiversity is most well known to the public as a loss of animals with a backbone, when in fact there exist 20 times that number of insects and five times as many flowering plants. While many of these species may be highly valuable to the human race for the above reasons, the vast majority are often completely unknown to anyone but specialists. In fact it is often estimated that less than half and perhaps less than two-thirds of earth organisms have even been identified.


Numbers of species

Insects make up the vast majority of animal species.
Insects make up the vast majority of animal species.

As a soft guide, however, the numbers of identified modern species as of 2004 can be broken down as follows:[14] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1067, 262 KB) Hoverflies mating in midair. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1600x1067, 262 KB) Hoverflies mating in midair. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera...

However the total number of species for some phyla may be much higher: For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moss (disambiguation). ... This article is about the group of pteridophyte plants. ... Divisions Pinophyta (or Coniferophyta) - Conifers Ginkgophyta - Ginkgo Cycadophyta - Cycads Gnetophyta - Gnetum, Ephedra, Welwitschia Gymnosperm (Gymnospermae) are a group of spermatophyte seed-bearing plants with ovules on the edge or blade of an open sporophyll, which are usually arranged in cone-like structures. ... Orders See text. ... Hemerocallis flower, with three flower parts in each whorl Wheat, an economically important monocot The monocotyledons or Monocots are a group of flowering plants, (angiosperms) dominating great parts of the earth. ... Divisions Chytridiomycota Zygomycota Ascomycota Basidiomycota The Fungi (singular: fungus) are a large group of organisms ranked as a kingdom within the Domain Eukaryota. ... For other uses, see Lichen (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Invertebrate is an English word that describes any animal without a spinal column. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora Monoplacophora Bivalvia Scaphopoda Gastropoda Cephalopoda † Rostroconchia The mollusks or molluscs are the large and diverse phylum Mollusca, which includes a variety of familiar creatures well-known for their decorative shells or as seafood. ... For the Dutch band, see Crustacean (band). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Amphibian (disambiguation). ... Reptilia redirects here. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria For the folk-rock band see The Mammals. ...

Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... Divisions Chytridiomycota Zygomycota Ascomycota Basidiomycota The Fungi (singular: fungus) are a large group of organisms ranked as a kingdom within the Domain Eukaryota. ... Mites, along with ticks, belong to the subclass Acarina (also known as Acari) and the class Arachnida. ...

Threats

During the last century, erosion of biodiversity has been increasingly observed. Some studies show that about one eighth known plant species is threatened with extinction[specify]. Some estimates put the loss at up to 140,000 species per year (based on Species-area theory) and subject to discussion.[19] This figure indicates unsustainable ecological practices, because only a small number of species come into being each year. Almost all scientists acknowledge[citation needed] that the rate of species loss is greater now than at any time in human history, with extinctions occurring at rates hundreds of times higher than background extinction rates. For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... In ecology, the Species-Area Curve is a graph recording the cumulative number of species of living things recorded in a defined area of a particular environment (usually by using quadrats) as a size of the area examined. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ... Background extinction rate, also known as ‘normal extinction rate’, refers to the standard rate of extinction in earth’s geological and biological history before humans became a primary contributor to extinctions. ...


The factors that threaten biodiversity have been variously categorized. Jared Diamond describes an "Evil Quartet" of habitat destruction, overkill, introduced species, and secondary extensions. Edward O. Wilson prefers the acronym HIPPO, standing for Habitat destruction, Invasive species, Pollution, Population, and Overharvesting.[20][21] E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ...


Destruction of habitats

Most of the species extinctions from 1000 AD to 2000 AD are due to human activities, in particular destruction of plant and animal habitats. Raised rates of extinction are being driven by human consumption of organic resources, especially related to tropical forest destruction.[22] While most of the species that are becoming extinct are not food species, their biomass is converted into human food when their habitat is transformed into pasture, cropland, and orchards. It is estimated that more than 40% of the Earth's biomass[citation needed] is tied up in only the few species that represent humans, livestock and crops. Because an ecosystem decreases in stability as its species are made extinct, these studies warn that the global ecosystem is destined for collapse if it is further reduced in complexity. Factors contributing to loss of biodiversity are: overpopulation, deforestation, pollution (air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination) and global warming or climate change, driven by human activity. These factors, while all stemming from overpopulation, produce a cumulative impact upon biodiversity. Habitat (which is Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species live and grow. ... In general terms, eating (formally, ingestion) is the process of consuming something edible, i. ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical rain forests, are a tropical and subtropical biome. ... For the eco-industrial use of the term, which includes dead material used for biofuels, see biomass An Antarctic krill, whose species comprises roughly 0. ... Pastureland Pasture is land with lush herbaceous vegetation cover used for grazing of ungulates as part of a farm or ranch. ... Bales of hay on a farm near Ames, Iowa A farm is the basic unit in agriculture. ... An orchard is an intentional planting of trees maintained for food production. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ... Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants, animals and other life forms. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... This article is about the process of deforestation in the environment. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Air pollution is the modification of the natural characteristics of the atmosphere by a chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent. ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities, which can be harmful to organisms and... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil pollution comprises the pollution of soils with materials, mostly chemicals, that are out of place or are present at concentrations higher than normal which may have adverse effects on humans or other organisms. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ...


There are systematic relationships between the area of a habitat and the number of species it can support, with greater sensitivity to reduction in habitat area for species of larger body size and for those living at lower latitudes or in forests or oceans. [23] Some characterize loss of biodiversity not as ecosystem degradation but by conversion to trivial standardized ecosystems (e.g., monoculture following deforestation). In some countries lack of property rights or access regulation to biotic resources necessarily leads to biodiversity loss (degradation costs having to be supported by the community). Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity. ... This article is about the process of deforestation in the environment. ...


A September 14, 2007 study conducted by the National Science Foundation found that biodiversity and genetic diversity are dependent upon each other--that diversity within a species is necessary to maintain diversity among species, and vice versa. According to the lead researcher in the study, Dr. Richard Lankau, "If any one type is removed from the system, the cycle can break down, and the community becomes dominated by a single species."[24] is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... The logo of the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. ... Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ...


Exotic species

Main article: Introduced species

The rich diversity of unique species across many parts of the world exist only because they are separated by barriers, particularly large rivers, seas, oceans, mountains and deserts from other species of other land masses, particularly the highly fecund, ultra-competitive, generalist "super-species". These are barriers that could never be crossed by natural processes, except for many millions of years in the future through continental drift. However humans have invented ships and airplanes, and now have the power to bring into contact species that never have met in their evolutionary history, and on a time scale of days, unlike the centuries that historically have accompanied major animal migrations. Alien species redirects here. ... Plates in the crust of the earth, according to the plate tectonics theory Continental drift refers to the movement of the Earths continents relative to each other. ...


The widespread introduction of exotic species by humans is a potent threat to biodiversity. When exotic species are introduced to ecosystems and establish self-sustaining populations, the endemic species in that ecosystem, that have not evolved to cope with the exotic species, may not survive. The exotic organisms may be either predators, parasites, or simply aggressive species that deprive indigenous species of nutrients, water and light. These exotic or invasive species often have features, due to their evolutionary background and new environment, that make them highly competitive; able to become well-established and spread quickly, reducing the effective habitat of endemic species. Sweet clover (Melilotus sp. ... This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. ... Lantana invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel The term invasive species refers to a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. ... In biology and ecology endemic means exclusively native to a place or biota, in contrast to cosmopolitan or introduced. ...


As a consequence of the above, if humans continue to combine species from different ecoregions, there is the potential that the world's ecosystems will end up dominated by relatively a few, aggressive, cosmopolitan "super-species". A cosmopolitan distribution is a term applied to a biological category of living things meaning that this category can be found anywhere around the world. ...

Other 'Decline in amphibian populations'

Declines in amphibian populations have been observed since 1980s. Because of the sensitivity of these organisms, they are regarded by many scientists as a marker for the overall health of an ecosystem. Their decline has led to concern about the general current state of biodiversity. The Golden Toad of Monteverde, Costa Rica was among the first casualties of amphibian declines. ...


Genetic pollution

Main article: Genetic pollution

Purebred naturally evolved region specific wild species can be threatened with extinction in a big way[25] through the process of genetic pollution i.e. uncontrolled hybridization, introgression and Genetic swamping which leads to homogenization or replacement of local genotypes as a result of either a numerical and/or fitness advantage of introduced plant or animal.[26] Nonnative species can bring about a form of extinction of native plants and animals by hybridization and introgression either through purposeful introduction by humans or through habitat modification, bringing previously isolated species into contact. These phenomena can be especially detrimental for rare species coming into contact with more abundant ones where the abundant ones can interbreed with them swamping the entire rarer gene pool creating hybrids thus driving the entire original purebred native stock to complete extinction. Attention has to be focused on the extent of this under appreciated problem that is not always apparent from morphological (outward appearance) observations alone. Some degree of gene flow may be a normal, evolutionarily constructive process, and all constellations of genes and genotypes cannot be preserved however, hybridization with or without introgression may, nevertheless, threaten a rare species' existence.[27][28] Genetic pollution, genetic contamination or genetic swamping happens when original set of naturally evolved (wild) region specific genes / gene pool of wild animals and plants become hybridized with domesticated and feral varieties or with the genes of other nonnative wild species or subspecies from neighboring or far away regions. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... Genetic pollution, genetic contamination or genetic swamping happens when original set of naturally evolved (wild) region specific genes / gene pool of wild animals and plants become hybridized with domesticated and feral varieties or with the genes of other nonnative wild species or subspecies from neighboring or far away regions. ... In genetics, hybridisation is the process of mixing different species or varieties of organisms. ... Introgression is a term used in genetics, particularly plant genetics, to describe the movement of a gene from one species into the gene pool of another by backcrossing an interspecific hybrid with one of its parents. ... The genotype is the specific genetic makeup (the specific genome) of an individual, usually in the form of DNA. It codes for the phenotype of that individual. ... Fitness (often denoted in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. ... The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ... In population genetics, gene flow (also known as gene migration) is the transfer of alleles of genes from one population to another. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... The genotype is the specific genetic makeup (the specific genome) of an individual, usually in the form of DNA. It codes for the phenotype of that individual. ...


Hybridization and genetics

See also: food security

In agriculture and animal husbandry, green revolution popularized the use of conventional hybridization to increase yield many folds by creating "high-yielding varieties". Often the handful of breeds of plants and animals hybridized originated in developed countries and were further hybridized with local varieties, in the rest of the developing world, to create high yield strains resistant to local climate and diseases. Local governments and industry since have been pushing hybridization with such zeal that several of the wild and indigenous breeds evolved locally over thousands of years having high resistance to local extremes in climate and immunity to diseases etc. have already become extinct or are in grave danger of becoming so in the near future. Due to complete disuse because of un-profitability and uncontrolled intentional and unintentional cross-pollination and crossbreeding (genetic pollution) formerly huge gene pools of various wild and indigenous breeds have collapsed causing widespread genetic erosion and genetic pollution resulting in great loss in genetic diversity and biodiversity as a whole.[29] Subsistence farmers with a Treadle Pump. ... Shepherd with his sheep in Făgăraş Mountains, Romania. ... The Green Revolution was the worldwide transformation of agriculture that led to significant increases in agricultural production between the 1940s and 1960s. ... This article is about a biological term. ... High-yielding varieties (HYVs) are any of a group of genetically enhanced cultivars of crops such as rice, maize and wheat that have an increased growth rate, an increased percentage of usable plant parts or an increased resistance against crop diseases. ... Genetic pollution, genetic contamination or genetic swamping happens when original set of naturally evolved (wild) region specific genes / gene pool of wild animals and plants become hybridized with domesticated and feral varieties or with the genes of other nonnative wild species or subspecies from neighboring or far away regions. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. ...


A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using the genetic engineering techniques generally known as recombinant DNA technology. Genetically Modified (GM) crops today have become a common source for genetic pollution, not only of wild varieties but also of other domesticated varieties derived from relatively natural hybridization.[30][31][32][33][34] GMO redirects here. ... Domains and Kingdoms Nanobes Acytota Cytota Bacteria Neomura Archaea Eukaryota Bikonta Apusozoa Rhizaria Excavata Archaeplastida Rhodophyta Glaucophyta Plantae Heterokontophyta Haptophyta Cryptophyta Alveolata Unikonta Amoebozoa Opisthokonta Choanozoa Fungi Animalia An ericoid mycorrhizal fungus Life on Earth redirects here. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Elements of genetic engineering Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that are applied to the direct manipulation of an organisms genes. ... Elements of genetic engineering Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that are applied to the direct manipulation of an organisms genes. ... Recombinant DNA technology adds/replaces DNA in an organism resulting in the recipient organism containing exogenous DNA. Recombinant proteins are proteins that are produced by different genetically modified organisms following insertion of the relevant DNA into their genome. ...


It is being said that genetic erosion coupled with genetic pollution is destroying that needed unique genetic base thereby creating an unforeseen hidden crisis which will result in a severe threat to our food security for the future when diverse genetic material will cease to exist to be able to further improve or hybridize weakening food crops and livestock against more resistant diseases and climatic changes.[35] Look up Genetic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Subsistence farmers with a Treadle Pump. ...


Management

Main article: Conservation biology

The conservation of biological diversity has become a global concern. Although not everybody agrees on extent and significance of current extinction, most consider biodiversity essential. There are basically two main types of conservation options, in-situ conservation and ex-situ conservation. In-situ is usually seen as the ideal conservation strategy. However, its implementation is sometimes infeasible. For example, destruction of rare or endangered species' habitats sometimes requires ex-situ conservation efforts. Furthermore, ex-situ conservation can provide a backup solution to in-situ conservation projects. Some believe both types of conservation are required to ensure proper preservation. An example of an in-situ conservation effort is the setting-up of protection areas. Examples of ex-situ conservation efforts, by contrast, would be planting germplasts in seedbanks, or growing the Wollemi Pine in nurseries. Such efforts allow the preservation of large populations of plants with minimal genetic erosion. Conservation biology, or conservation ecology, is the science of analyzing and protecting Earths biological diversity. ... Conservation biology, or conservation ecology, is the science of analyzing and protecting Earths biological diversity. ... In-situ conservation means on-site conservation. It is the process of protecting an endangered plant or animal species in its natural habitat, either by protecting or cleaning up the habitat itself, or by defending the species from predators. ... Ex-situ conservation means literally, off-site conservation. It is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal by removing it from an unsafe or threatened habitat and placing it or part of it under the care of humans. ... Ex-situ conservation means literally, off-site conservation. It is the process of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal by removing it from an unsafe or threatened habitat and placing it or part of it under the care of humans. ... Seedbanks store seeds as a source for planting in case seed reserves elsewhere should be destroyed. ... Binomial name Wollemia nobilis The Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) is a remarkable coniferous tree that was discovered in 1994 in a remote series of narrow, steep-sided sandstone gorges in a mild temperate-zone rainforest wilderness area of the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, 150 kilometers north-west...


At national levels a Biodiversity Action Plan is sometimes prepared to state the protocols necessary to protect an individual species. Usually this plan also details extant data on the species and its habitat. In the USA such a plan is called a Recovery Plan. Diademed Sifaka, an endangered primate of Madagascar Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a an internationally recognized programme addressing threatened species or habitats, which is designed to protect and restore biological systems. ... Recovery Plan is a program in the USA to develop protocols for protecting and enhancing rare and endangered species populations. ...


The threat to biological diversity was among the hot topics discussed at the UN World Summit for Sustainable Development, in hope of seeing the foundation of a Global Conservation Trust to help maintain plant collections.


Judicial status

Biodiversity is beginning to be evaluated and its evolution analysed (through observations, inventories, conservation...) as well as being taken into account in political and judicial decisions: .

  • The relationship between law and ecosystems is very ancient and has consequences for biodiversity. It is related to property rights, both private and public. It can define protection for threatened ecosystems, but also some rights and duties (for example, fishing rights, hunting rights).
  • Law regarding species is a more recent issue. It defines species that must be protected because they may be threatened by extinction. The U.S. Endangered Species Act is an example of an attempt to address the "law and species" issue.
  • Laws regarding gene pools are only about a century old[citation needed]. While the genetic approach is not new (domestication, plant traditional selection methods), progress made in the genetic field in the past 20 years have led to a tightening of laws in this field. With the new technologies of genetic analysis and genetic engineering, people are going through gene patenting, processes patenting, and a totally new concept of genetic resources[citation needed]. A very hot debate today seeks to define whether the resource is the gene, the organism itself, or its DNA.

The 1972 UNESCO convention established that biological resources, such as plants, were the common heritage of mankind. These rules probably inspired the creation of great public banks of genetic resources, located outside the source-countries. A fishery (plural: fisheries) is an organized effort by humans to catch fish or other aquatic species, an activity known as fishing. ... For other uses, see ESA (disambiguation). ... Elements of genetic engineering Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that are applied to the direct manipulation of an organisms genes. ... For other uses, see Patent (disambiguation). ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...


New global agreements (e.g.Convention on Biological Diversity), now give sovereign national rights over biological resources (not property). The idea of static conservation of biodiversity is disappearing and being replaced by the idea of dynamic conservation, through the notion of resource and innovation. The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. ...


The new agreements commit countries to conserve biodiversity, develop resources for sustainability and share the benefits resulting from their use. Under new rules, it is expected that bioprospecting or collection of natural products has to be allowed by the biodiversity-rich country, in exchange for a share of the benefits. Bioprospecting is the collecting and testing of biological samples (plants, animals, micro-organisms) and the collecting of indigenous knowledge to help in discovering and exploiting genetic or biochemical resources Bioprospecting has primarily economic purposes (e. ...


Sovereignty principles can rely upon what is better known as Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements (ABAs). The Convention on Biodiversity spirit implies a prior informed consent between the source country and the collector, to establish which resource will be used and for what, and to settle on a fair agreement on benefit sharing. Bioprospecting can become a type of biopiracy when those principles are not respected. The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. ... Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Bioprospecting. ...


Uniform approval for use of biodiversity as a legal standard has not been achieved, however. At least one legal commentator has argued that biodiversity should not be used as a legal standard, arguing that the multiple layers of scientific uncertainty inherent in the concept of biodiversity will cause administrative waste and increase litigation without promoting preservation goals. See Fred Bosselman, A Dozen Biodiversity Puzzles, 12 N.Y.U. Environmental Law Journal 364 (2004)


Criticisms

Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef.
Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef.

Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 210 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 210 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef, in this case the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ...

Food

Many have challenged the notion that there is 'vast untapped potential' for reducing humankind's dependence on a relatively small number of domesticated plant and animal species. Jared Diamond[36] argued, based on studies of the domestication of plants and animals, that the rarity of species suitable for domestication and their occurrence in just a few parts of the world, determined the limited number of locations in which major civilizations could arise. In recent times there have been many studies of minor food sources, but none of these sources have subsequently become major food crops. Jared Mason Diamond (b. ...


Founder effect

The field of biodiversity research (inevitably) suffers from natural human egocentric "myopic" cognitive biases. It has often been criticized for being overly defined by the personal interests of the founders (i.e. terrestrial mammals) giving a narrow focus, rather than extending to other areas where it could be useful. This is termed the founder effect by Norse and Irish, (1996).[37] (This was a play on words: the founder effect in ecology typically refers to the genetic outcome when a small population establishes an isolated breeding group). France and Rigg reviewed the biodiversity literature in 1998 and found that there was a significant lack of papers studying marine ecosystems,[38] leading them to dub marine biodiversity research the sleeping hydra. More work has been carried out for accessible, diverse coastal systems such as coral reefs than for inaccessible, species-poor deep sea areas. Egocentrism is the practice of regarding oneself and ones own opinions or interests as most important. ... Normal vision for a achromatopsic colour-blind person. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Simple illustration of founder effect. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... Part of a coral reef. ...


It has been easier to mobilise public opinion and national legislation for the terrestrial realm, which has higher visibility and falls within countries' territorial boundaries. Marine conservation involves having to pioneer new and international mechanisms of protection as well as solving methodological problems in marine biology relating to marine ecosystem classification and data-gathering on some of the earth's most difficult species to access and monitor. Marine conservation, also known as marine resources conservation, is the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas. ... Various species of reef fish in the Hawaiian Islands. ...


Size bias

Biodiversity researcher Sean Nee points out that the vast majority of Earth's biodiversity is microbial, and that contemporary biodiversity physics is "firmly fixated on the visible world" (Nee uses "visible" as a synonym for macroscopic).[39] For example, microbial life is very much more metabolically and environmentally diverse than multicellular life (see extremophile). Nee has stated: "On the tree of life, based on analyses of small-subunit ribosomal RNA, visible life consists of barely noticeable twigs. An extremophile is an organism, usually unicellular, which thrives in or requires extreme conditions that would exceed optimal conditions for growth and reproduction in the majority of mesophilic terrestrial organisms. ... Ribosomal RNA (rRNA), a type of RNA synthesized in the nucleolus by RNA Pol I, is the central component of the ribosome, the protein manufacturing machinery of all living cells. ...


The size bias is not restricted to consideration of microbes. Entomologist Nigel Stork states that "to a first approximation, all multicellular species on Earth are insects".[40]


A reply to this, however, is that biodiversity conservation has never focused exclusively on visible (in this sense) species. From the very beginning, the classification and conservation of natural communities or ecosystem types has been a central part of the effort. The thought behind this has been that since invisible (in this sense) diversity is, due to lack of taxonomy, impossible to treat in the same manner as visible diversity, the best that can be done is to preserve a diversity of ecosystem types, thereby preserving as well as possible the diversity of invisible organisms.


See also

For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ... A river in the Amazon rainforest The Amazon is a rainforest in South America. ... Applied ecology is a subfield within ecology which considers the application of the science of ecology to real-world (usually management) questions. ... Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field of academic research that addresses the dynamic and spatial interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems. ... For other uses, see Extinction (disambiguation). ... Biocomplexity is concerned with the complex behavioral, biological, social, chemical, and physical interactions of living organisms with their environment. ... Biogeography is the science which deals with patterns of species distribution and the processes that result in such patterns. ... Map of the human X chromosome (from the NCBI website). ... The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... The Conservation Commons is the expression of a cooperative effort of non-governmental organizations, international and multi-lateral CONNECTING PEOPLE with the INFORMATION they need organizations, governments, academia, and the private sector, to improve open access to and unrestricted use of, data, information and knowledge relatedto the conservation of biodiversity... The conservation ethic is an ethic of resource use, allocation, exploitation, and protection. ... The Convention on Biological Diversity, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international treaty that was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... // From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Forest farming is neither forestry nor farming in the traditional sense. ... In population genetics, Ewenss sampling formula, introduced by Warren Ewens, states that under certain conditions (specified below), if a random sample of n gametes is taken from a population and classified according to the gene at a particular locus then the probability that there are a1 alleles represented once... The gene pool of a species or a population is the complete set of unique alleles that would be found by inspecting the genetic material of every living member of that species or population. ... Genetic pollution, genetic contamination or genetic swamping happens when original set of naturally evolved (wild) region specific genes / gene pool of wild animals and plants become hybridized with domesticated and feral varieties or with the genes of other nonnative wild species or subspecies from neighboring or far away regions. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Green Revolution was the worldwide transformation of agriculture that led to significant increases in agricultural production between the 1940s and 1960s. ... Habitat fragmentation is a process of environmental change important in evolution and conservation biology. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis which proposes that that biodiversity is highest when disturbance is neither too rare nor too frequent. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, popularly known as the International Seed Treaty, is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims at guaranteeing food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the worlds plant genetic resources... Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries is the organization formed by the countries which are considered as Megadiverse Countries. ... The Living Planet Index (LPI) is an indicator of the state of global biological diversity, based on trends in vertebrate [1] populations of species from around the world. ... The Megadiverse countries are a group of countries in which less than the 10% of the global surface has more than the 70% of the biodiversity. ... A conceptual outline for the program The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is a research program that focuses on ecosystem changes over the course of decades, and projecting those changes into the future. ... Bixa orellana seeds Ravenala madagascariensis seeds The Millennium Seed Bank Project is an international conservation project coordinated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ... Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity. ... For linguistic mutation, see Apophony. ... It is estimated that up to 60,000 people routinely record biodiversity information in the UK. Most of this effort is voluntary and is organised through about 2,000 national societies and recording schemes. ... The Dodo, a bird of Mauritius, became extinct during the mid-late seventeenth century after humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes and introduced animals that ate their eggs. ... The preservation of plant germplasm in seedbanks, (or genebanks), is one of the techniques of ex-situ conservation of plant species. ... It has been suggested that American Tree Farm System be merged into this article or section. ... The unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography (here Unified Theory or UNTB) is a theory and the title of a monograph[1] by ecologist Stephen Hubbell. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A nature reserve is an area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. ... The United Nations Environment Programmes World Conservation Monitoring Centre or UNEP-WCMC is an executive agency of the United Nations Environment Programme, based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ... The World Network of Biosphere Reserves was established at the International Conference on Biosphere Reserves in Seville in 1995. ...

References

  1. ^ Edward O.Wilson, editor, Frances M.Peter, associate editor, Biodiversity, National Academy Press, March 1988 ISBN 0-309-03783-2 ; ISBN 0-309-03739-5 (pbk.), online edition
  2. ^ Global Biodiversity Assessment. UNEP, 1995, Annex 6, Glossary. ISBN 0-521-56481-6, used as source by "Biodiversity", Glossary of terms related to the CBD, Belgian Clearing-House Mechanism, retrieved 2006-04-26.
  3. ^ Kevin J. Gaston & John I. Spicer. 2004. "Biodiversity: an introduction", Blackwell Publishing. 2nd Ed., ISBN 1-4051-1857-1(pbk.)
  4. ^ Whittaker, R.H., Evolution and measurement of species diversity, Taxon, 21, 213-251 (1972)
  5. ^ Endangered Species List Expands to 16,000. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  6. ^ Myers N. (1988), "Threatened biotas: 'hot spots' in tropical forests", Environmentalist, 8, 187-208.
  7. ^ Myers N. (1990), "The biodiversity challenge: expanded hot-spots analysis", Environmentalist, 10, 243-256.
  8. ^ J. Alroy, C.R. et al.2001. Effect of sampling standardization on estimates of Phanerozonic marine diversification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 98: 6261-6266
  9. ^ a b Mapping the web of life
  10. ^ a b Edward O. Wilson (2002). The Future of Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 
  11. ^ GM Wahl, BR de Saint Vincent and ML DeRose, Effect of chromosomal position on amplificationm of transfected genes in animal cells, Nature 307:516-520
  12. ^ Southern Corn Leaf Blight. Retrieved on 2007-11-13.
  13. ^ FY 2007 Budget in Brief
  14. ^ 2007 IUCN Red List – Summary Statistics for Globally Threatened Species
  15. ^ a b David L. Hawksworth, "The magnitude of fungal diversity: the 1•5 million species estimate revisited" Mycological Research (2001), 105: 1422-1432 Cambridge University Press [1]
  16. ^ Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Numbers of Insects
  17. ^ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Census of Marine Life (CoML) [2]
  18. ^ Acari at University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Web Page
  19. ^ S.L. Pimm, G.J. Russell, J.L. Gittleman and T.M. Brooks, The Future of Biodiversity, Science 269: 347-350 (1995)
  20. ^ Jim Chen (2003). "Across the Apocalypse on Horseback: Imperfect Legal Responses to Biodiversity Loss", The Jurisdynamics of Environmental Protection: Change and the Pragmatic. Environmental Law Institute, 197. ISBN 1585760714. 
  21. ^ (2005) "Hippo dilemma", Windows on the Wild: Science and Sustainabiliy. New Africa Books. ISBN 1869283805. 
  22. ^ Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, Extinction, Random House, New York (1981) ISBN 0-394-51312-6
  23. ^ Stina Drakare, Jack J. Lennon, Helmut Hillebrand (2006) The imprint of the geographical, evolutionary and ecological context on species-area relationships Ecology Letters 9 (2) , 215-227 doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00848.x http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00848.x
  24. ^ Study: Loss Of Genetic Diversity Threatens Species Diversity
  25. ^ Hybridization and Introgression; Extinctions; from "The evolutionary impact of invasive species; by H. A. Mooney and E. E. Cleland" Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 May 8; 98(10): 5446–5451. doi:10.1073/pnas.091093398. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, v.98(10); May 8, 2001, The National Academy of Sciences. PMID 33232
  26. ^ Glossary: definitions from the following publication: Aubry, C., R. Shoal and V. Erickson. 2005. Grass cultivars: their origins, development, and use on national forests and grasslands in the Pacific Northwest. USDA Forest Service. 44 pages, plus appendices.; Native Seed Network (NSN), Institute for Applied Ecology, 563 SW Jefferson Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333, USA
  27. ^ EXTINCTION BY HYBRIDIZATION AND INTROGRESSION; by Judith M. Rhymer , Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA; and Daniel Simberloff, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306, USA; Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, November 1996, Vol. 27, Pages 83-109 (doi: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.27.1.83), [3]
  28. ^ Genetic Pollution from Farm Forestry using eucalypt species and hybrids; A report for the RIRDC/L&WA/FWPRDC; Joint Venture Agroforestry Program; by Brad M. Potts, Robert C. Barbour, Andrew B. Hingston; September 2001; RIRDC Publication No 01/114; RIRDC Project No CPF - 3A; ISBN 0 642 58336 6; ISSN 1440-6845; Australian Government, Rural Industrial Research and Development Corporation
  29. ^ “Genetic Pollution: The Great Genetic Scandal”; Devinder Sharma can be contacted at: 7 Triveni Apartments, A-6 Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-110 063, India. Email: [email protected] CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL MEDIA (CAAM)., [4]
  30. ^ THE YEAR IN IDEAS: A TO Z.; Genetic Pollution; By MICHAEL POLLAN, The New York Times, December 9, 2001
  31. ^ Dangerous Liaisons? When Cultivated Plants Mate with Their Wild Relatives; by Norman C. Ellstrand; The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003; 268 pp. hardcover , $ 65; ISBN 0-8018-7405-X. Book Reviewed in: Hybrids abounding; Nature Biotechnology 22, 29 - 30 (2004) doi:10.1038/nbt0104-29; Reviewed by: Steven H Strauss & Stephen P DiFazio; 1 Steve Strauss is in the Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-5752, USA. [email protected]; 2 Steve DiFazio is at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Bldg. 1059, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6422 USA. [email protected]
  32. ^ “Genetic pollution: Uncontrolled spread of genetic information (frequently referring to transgenes) into the genomes of organisms in which such genes are not present in nature.” Zaid, A. et al. 1999. Glossary of biotechnology and genetic engineering. FAO Research and Technology Paper No. 7. ISBN 92-5-104369-8
  33. ^ “Genetic pollution: Uncontrolled escape of genetic information (frequently referring to products of genetic engineering) into the genomes of organisms in the environment where those genes never existed before.” Searchable Biotechnology Dictionary. University of Minnesota. , [5]
  34. ^ “Genetic pollution: Living organisms can also be defined as pollutants, when a non-indigenous species (plant or animal) enters a habitat and modifies the existing equilibrium among the organisms of the affected ecosystem (sea, lake, river). Non-indigenous, including transgenic species (GMOs), may bring about a particular version of pollution in the vegetable kingdom: so-called genetic pollution. This term refers to the uncontrolled diffusion of genes (or transgenes) into genomes of plants of the same type or even unrelated species where such genes are not present in nature. For example, a grass modified to resist herbicides could pollinate conventional grass many miles away, creating weeds immune to the most widely used weed-killer, with obvious consequences for crops. Genetic pollution is at the basis of the debate on the use of GMOs in agriculture.” The many facets of pollution; Bologna University web site for Science Communication. The Webweavers: Last modified Tue, 20 Jul 2005
  35. ^ “Genetic Pollution: The Great Genetic Scandal”; Devinder Sharma can be contacted at: 7 Triveni Apartments, A-6 Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-110 063, India. Email: [email protected] CENTRE FOR ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL MEDIA (CAAM)., [6]
  36. ^ Diamond, J.(1998) Guns, Germs and Steel. Vintage. ISBN 0 09 930278 0 (pbk.)
  37. ^ Irish, K.E. and Norse, E.A. (1996) Scant emphasis on marine biodiversity Conserv. Biol. 10 680
  38. ^ France, R., and Rigg, C. (1998) Examination of the 'founder effect' in biodiversity research: patterns and imbalances in the published literature Diversity and Distributions 4 77-86
  39. ^ Nee S. (2004), "More than meets the eye",Nature, 429, 804-805.
  40. ^ N. E. Stork 2007. Biodiversity: world of Insects. Nature 448, 657-658 (9 August 2007)

Link rot is the process by which links on a website gradually become irrelevant or broken as time goes on, because websites that they link to disappear, change their content or redirect to new locations. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...

Further reading

  • Leveque, C. & J. Mounolou (2003) Biodiversity. New York: John Wiley. ISBN 0470849576
  • Margulis, L., Dolan, Delisle, K., Lyons, C. Diversity of Life: The Illustrated Guide to the Five Kingdoms. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 0763708623
  • Alexander V. Markov, and Andrey V. Korotayev (2007) "Phanerozoic marine biodiversity follows a hyperbolic trend" Palaeoworld 16(4): pp. 311-318.
  • Novacek, M. J. (ed.) (2001) The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing What Counts. New York: American Museum of Natural History Books. ISBN 1565845706

Lynn Margulis Dr. Lynn Margulis (born March 15, 1938) is a biologist and University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. ...

External links

United Nations

Documents

  • Convention on Biological Diversity Text of the Convention
  • Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 a publication of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity that reviews the trends in biodiversity loss, and the responses under the Convention.
  • Biodiversity Synthesis Report (PDF) by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005)

Tools

Klaus Töpfer, former UNEP Exec. ... The United Nations Environment Programmes World Conservation Monitoring Centre or UNEP-WCMC is an executive agency of the United Nations Environment Programme, based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. ...

Scholarly articles

  • The significance of Vavilov’s scientific expeditions and ideas for development and use of legume genetic resources
  • Diversity of lupin (Lupinus L.) based on biochemical composition
  • Climate Change Threatens Wild Relatives of Key Crops

National

  • Canadian Biodiversity Information Network
  • National Biodiversity Network

Education institutions

  • Where can I study Biodiversity and Conservation?
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Biodiversity

Resources

  • Biodiversity Heritage Library www.biodiversitylibrary.org - Open access digital library of taxonomic literature
  • DMOZ www.dmoz.org - Open Directory Project
  • ERIC Digests www.ericdigests.org - Teaching about Biodiversity
  • National Biodiversity Network www.searchnbn.net - NBN Gateway
  • Encyclopedia of Life www.eol.org - Documenting all species of life on earth
  • Video: E.O. Wilson on Biodiversity

News

  • Gone: By the End of the Century Half of All Plant and Animal Species Will be Extinct; Who Will Survive? by Julia Whitty from the May/June 2007 issue of Mother Jones magazine
  • Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link www.well.com - Compiled news about current rate of biodiversity loss and species extinction
  • Inter Press Service [7] - One Planet - 1.4 Million Species : : Reports and analysis about biodiversity
Mother Jones Magazine is a leftist magazine named after labor organizer Mary Harris Jones (May 1, 1830 - November 30, 1930), better known as Mother Jones. ... Inter Press Service (abbreviated: IPS) is a global news agency. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Biodiversity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (7541 words)
Biodiversity may be a catch-all for various aspects of conservation, but the fresh perspectives arising from recognition of "biodiversity" suggest possible unifying concepts.
Biodiversity is seen by many as a symbol for our lack of knowledge about the components of life's variation, and their importance to mankind (see Takacs 1996).
The perspective that biodiversity reflects option and intrinsic values, to be balanced with other values, appears to be compatible with the broader discipline of conservation biology: "the field is rooted in a philosophy of stewardship rather than one of utilitarianism or consumption.
Biodiversity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3859 words)
For geneticists, biodiversity is the diversity of genes and organisms.
Biodiversity is a broad concept, so a variety of objective measures have been created in order to empirically measure biodiversity.
Biodiversity researcher Sean Nee, writing in the 24 June 2004 edition of Nature, points out that the vast majority of Earth's biodiversity is microbial, and that contemporary biodiversity physics molecular dene is "firmly fixated on the visible world" (Nee uses "visible" as a synonym for macroscopic).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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