Biodiversity
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Biodiversity. What is biodiversity?. Biodiversity is short for biological diversity and can be defined as the variety of all life forms on Earth… the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, and the ecosystems of which they are a part. What are the three levels of biodiversity?.

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What is biodiversity
What is biodiversity?

  • Biodiversity is short for biological diversity and can be defined as the variety of all life forms on Earth… the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, and the ecosystems of which they are a part


What are the three levels of biodiversity
What are the three levels of biodiversity?

  • Genetic diversity: the total genetic information (inheritable characteristics) contained in the genes of all species

  • Species diversity: the variety and number of speciesthat appear in a particular location or region

  • Ecosystem diversity: the variety of habitats, natural environments or biological communities in a given region


Why is biodiversity important for planet
Why is biodiversity important for planet?

  • Diversity of plant life regulates the greenhouse effect and the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

  • Agricultural production is dependent on different species of insect and birds that pollinate numerous crops we eat as food

  • Stability of ecosystems around the world require a diversity of species to maintain their richness


How is biodiversity lost
How is biodiversity lost?

  • Destruction of an ecosystem directly eliminates the various species of plants and animals that lived there, and the disappearance of one species has an effect on all those around it.

  • Introduction of a new species of plant or animal into an area can pose a serious threat to other species in the area because the new species might attack or outcompete the original species



What is deforestation
What is deforestation?

  • Deforestation is the clearing of the Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land


How much forest have we lost
How much forest have we lost?

  • Deforestation varies around the globe, with the developing world seeing huge expanses of forest cleared every year

  • Africa is experiencing deforestation at twice the global rate

  • Brazil has the highest amount of forest removed each year

  • Canada has less than 0.5 percent of world’s deforestation


What is the link to cultural diversity
What is the link to cultural diversity?

  • As more and more countries expand into forested areas, the Aboriginal peoples who live in these forests have come under threat

  • Expansion into these areas reduces living space and their resource base; exposure to the outside world erodes their lifestyles and cultures

  • As different aboriginal groups are exterminated, a country loses its cultural diversity (i.e. Brazil)


What are three global consequences
What are three global consequences?

  • As mentioned above, one of the consequences of deforestation is a loss of cultural diversity

  • Deforestation also upsets the delicate ecological balance that exists in any given ecosystem

  • Deforestation increases global warming through removal of massive carbon sinks and through the process of deforestation (burning) itself



What is desertification
What is desertification?

  • Desertification is the process by which a productive dryland area is degraded to the point that it becomes unproductive desert land


How much of the world is desert
How much of the world is desert?

  • Desertification threatens close to 900 million people, and that number is expected to rise to over 1.2 billion

  • More than 100 countries and every continent in the world is affected by desertification

  • Nearly 3.5 billion hectares of the world’s pasture lands, croplands and irrigated land are at risk of desertification


What events lead to desertification
What events lead to desertification?

  • There are a number of human activities that lead to desertification, the four most common being:

    • Over-cultivation

    • Overgrazing

    • Deforestation

    • Inappropriate irrigation techniques


What are the consequences
What are the consequences?

  • As more and more land changes to infertile desert, the people who live there are forced to seek new places to grow food

  • These people are subject to malnutrition and starvation until the decision to move is made

  • As these people move into neighbouring countries, they tax the resources of the new country, often leading to civil unrest


How does desertification affect planet
How does desertification affect planet?

  • Greater expanses of desert can contribute to weather changes by raising temperatures and lowering humidity levels

  • Reduced vegetation cover and declining soil quality contribute to greenhouse gas emissions

  • Once the plants and birds have left an area that has experienced desertification, the biodiversity is affected as well



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