One of the greatest feature that this earth has is its biodiversity. Imagine not having the biodiversity in this planet, and there is only human living on earth. Would we be able to survive up to nowadays? Of course not, because we are dependent on other resources to live.
Every living being in the planet is indeed dependent on one another. Look at other planets, and you will not find this basic criterion. Thus, biodiversity might also be the most basic reason why this planet can host life at all.
But we also know that earth is losing its biodiversity nowadays. Day by day more and more species are becoming threatened, closer and closer to extinction. We are losing more and more species, and it means we are losing our biodiversity.
Wow, doesn’t it show you how important is our biodiversity? That’s why, in this article, we are going to talk further about our biodiversity, and why we need it.
One of many importance of biodiversity in our nature is that it provides insurance to the nature. Here we are talking about the synergy between one species and another. With the synergy, the nature can function as well as we know nowadays.
“Biodiversity insures ecosystems against declines in their functioning because many species provide greater guarantees that some will maintain functioning even if others fail,” as stated in The Insurance Hypothesis.
The most logical reason for this is because with diversity in the ecosystem, every single species will work for an array of different ecological niches. On the other hand, in a monoculture environment, competition between individuals will occur.
In example, in the forest, plant viruses and illnesses tend to only attack certain species, genus, or family of plants. In a monoculture, a single infection will spread and eradicate the whole members. This is why biodiversity is needed in the environment, because it avoids a loss of species becomes loss of the whole ecosystem.
“Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to disturbances like extreme fires and floods. If a reptile species goes extinct, a forest with 20 other reptiles is likely to adapt better than another forest with only one reptile,” as stated by National Wildlife Federation.
Don’t you know that all this time we have been treated and serviced by the nature very well? And don’t you know that biodiversity plays a very important part in those services? Here we will give you some examples of those services.
First thing first is water. Clean water we consume is actually the result of hard work done by trees in the forest. But that’s not done by only one single species of trees, because different species can clean different pollutant. So, if the water you drink today is crystal clear, then it must be the result of multi-filtering process done by the trees in the forest.
Next, try to take a deep breath first before you continue reading. That clean air you are breathing in is actually also the service that the nature gives to us. Again, the air we are breathing in is only clean because of different species of plant can purify different pollutant in the air.
The thing with soil is even much more complicated than clean air and clean water explained above. Healthy soil we use to grow our crops is being maintained by a bunch of organisms, starting from arthropods, microorganisms, plants, even big animals.
Oh, and don’t forget about how biodiversity keeps us supplied with tons of raw materials, especially various kinds of woods. Imagine if the only species of tree that can give us wood is soft-wooded, maybe we would be still living in caves up to nowadays.
This might be the simplest way to explain why biodiversity is important. Everyone eats every day, and you can see how various our foods are. Even the simplest sandwich is made of several ingredients coming from various plants and animals.
Even though data said that we only depend on about 12 species of plants and 15 species of animals for our daily consumption, but that’s actually a little bit biased. For those plants and animals to be able to give us the produces, there is a lengthy process that’s usually overlooked.
In example, 80% of crops grown in Europe depend on insect pollinators. And bats alone save farmers about $1 billion annually because they eat pests. Any animal we can find in farmlands is actually contributing to our life, starting from frogs, dragonflies, moles, ladybugs, birds, even wasps.
All those benefits are clearly the result of biodiversity, and an extinction of one part of the long chain will be a huge disaster for both us and the nature. It’s not a fiction, as nowadays we are facing huge decline in bee population.
Bees are the most important pollinator in the world, because their population is far bigger than any other pollinators. Thus, recent decline of bee population affects our crops greatly. Many plants that used to be pollinated by bees no longer are.
Do you love travelling? If yes, then this part might be the most suitable way to explain why biodiversity is important for us. Biodiversity provides unrivaled beauty, which somehow nature arranged it aesthetically for us.
Why would you want to go to the mountains if it is not to watch and experience the beauty of the nature? Why would you want to scuba dive into the ocean if it is not because of the mesmerizing arrangement of coral reefs?
It shows how biodiversity is not only important, but also stunning in its own way. But the beauty that biodiversity can show us is not aging. Instead it is growing into more and more awesome thing, if we can just let it be.
The only reason why some parts of nature is not beautiful to our eyes nowadays is the destruction we brought. Say for example we cut down trees in the forest, we hunt for games, we pollute rivers and ocean with plastic, and many more.
Well, it is never too late to care about the nature, and its biodiversity. We can start now with smaller things. Let those bees sap on the nectar that the flowers in your garden provide. Let sea turtles swim in plastic-free ocean. Let the trees grow strong and sturdy in the verdure.