What are the types of biodiversity, and why it matter to us?

What are the types of biodiversity and why it matter to us
What are the types of biodiversity and why it matter to us?

Sometimes a simple question arises in mind: “Why are there so many kinds of animals in earth?” is difficult to answer because it can be interpreted in so many ways. There are different Types of biodiversity in the whole world.

Nowadays, Humans or Homo sapiens are the only intelligent species on the planet. Everything we do falls into a specific category and has particular characteristics and meanings. We are a highly sophisticated species. We need a system or a combination of systems – social, economic, and political, to name a few –to function. Although our basic needs are the same, our ambitions are different. And because of that, we see the environment and biodiversity through different lenses, which, in the end, jeopardizes the future of our planet. In that regard, this article has for goal to uphold what are the types of biodiversity, and why does it matter to us.

Biodiversity is actually the variety of life in a particular area determined by the number of species in that area—the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region. As biodiversity increases, so does the health of the ecosystem. Think of it as if you were running a business. You want your business to be healthy and make money. Imagine you sell shirts. If you only sold a black shirt with a heart, you are limited, and if white shirts go out of style, you are out of business. If you have a variety of shirts as fashion changes, you can better adapt to these changes and continue to make money. As biodiversity increases, the ecosystem has a more extraordinary ability to adapt to changes. Biodiversity is broken down into three type’s Genetic diversity, Species diversity, Ecosystem diversity.

Let’s read the article for the field of world’s diversity – and take time to read through about loss of biodiversity solutions, Types of biodiversity, and our mother Earth.

Let’s Find Out The Types Of Biodiversity and Classification of Biodiversity

Types of biodiversity
Four Types Of Biodiversity

There are different Types of biodiversity in the whole world. Generally there are three types of biological diversity and recently ecologists and expert treat “functional diversity” as one of the type of biodiversity. So there are Four main types of biodiversity that ecologists think about when assessing the state of an ecosystem.

  • 1. Genetic diversity.
  • 2. Species diversity.
  • 3. Ecosystem diversity and
  • 4. Functional diversity.

Lets brief each of types of biodiversity in the following section-

Genetic diversity Is One the Most Common Types of Biodiversity:

Genetic diversity is the individual genetic variation within a population and also between populations of one particular species. High genetic diversity is a sign of good genetic health. When there is plenty of good genetic material available, a species can adapt to its environment changes and even inhabit a new ecological niche if necessary. It also means that there is an absence of inbreeding. Inbreeding can lead to inbreeding depression and the extinction of that species.


Species Diversity is Another major Classification of Biodiversity :

Species diversity is the number of species within a particular ecosystem or throughout the whole biosphere or living world. This is also called species richness, whereby there is a high number of species. This term can apply to the bacteria in the human gut or organisms that inhabit the sea’s bottom in hydrothermal vents. Life is everywhere, and depending on how many living organisms are in one place is how much species diversity exists.


Ecosystem diversity Is another forms of Biodiversity:

Ecosystem diversity is how much diversity of different ecosystems exist across a specific region. Since communities of species interact, a change in one system can adversely affect another system. Therefore high ecosystem diversity is better for all species that inhabit a particular landscape.


Functional Diversity – Which Is Another New Types of Biodiversity 

Functional diversity is nothing but the way species behave, obtain food, and use an ecosystem’s natural resources. A species-rich ecosystem is presumed to have high functional diversity because many species have many different behaviors. Understanding an ecosystem’s functional diversity can be useful to ecologists trying to conserve or restore damaged it. Knowing species’ actions and roles can point to gaps in a food cycle or ecological niches lacking species.

Biodiversity that measuring the health of ecosystem

We all are part of this fantastic planet, but every day we’re changing it like never before. Biodiversity is a vital measure of the health of any ecosystem and our entire planet. In a general sense, every organism is an ecosystem, or biome, relies on other organisms and the physical environment.

For example, plant & animal species need each additional support for food and depend on the environment for water and shelter. Biodiversity describes how much variety an ecosystem has, in terms of resources and species and genetically within species.

A more diverse ecosystem will have more resources to recover from famine, drought, disease, or even species extinction. There are several types of biodiversity, indicating how various genes, species, and resources are in a region.

Global decline in Biodiversity is very alarming

Global decline in Biodiversity is very alarming
Global decline in Biodiversity is very alarming

Biodiversity is declining rapidly in various parts of the world. Even though there was a clear intention of the international community to reduce biodiversity loss and some measures have been taken, recent assessments involving many indicators show that the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing. We need to find the solution of loss of biodiversity.

Habitat destruction and degradation (including pollution), overharvesting of wild populations, climate change, and invasive exotic species are major direct drivers of biodiversity loss. Next to these “big five”, however, we need to be vigilant about novel threats.

At the root of these threats to biodiversity are humanity’s fast population growth, the per-capita increase in natural resource consumption, and unsustainable marine and land management practices.

The latter is partly due to population growth itself and partly due to insufficient attention for better alternatives, lack of conceptual breakthroughs and technological innovations, and focus on short term profit rather than long term economic potential.

Before find the solution of loss of biodiversity lets encounter the core basic of biodiversity.

What is meant by biodiversity? & what are examples of biodiversity?

Biodiversity actually describes the richness and variety of life on earth. This is one of the essential features of our planet. Life on earth will not sustain if there is no biodiversity.

Back in 1985, the term biodiversity was coined. It is equally important in natural & artificial ecosystems- it deals with nature’s variety in the biosphere. It refers to variability among plants, animals and microorganism species.

Biodiversity includes the number of organisms and their adjacent frequencies in an ecosystem, reflecting organisms’ organization at various levels.

Biodiversity holds ecological and economic significance, which provides us with nourishment, housing, clothing, fuel, and several other resources. It also extracts financial benefits through tourism. Hence, it is very crucial to have a good knowledge of biodiversity for a sustainable livelihood & practice ecofriendly or Green living Lifestyle.

Find out the Importance of Biodiversity 

The existence of Biodiversity and proper maintenance is equally essential for the sustaining of life on earth. In current times, the rate of extinction has gone high, causing a direct impact on our mother earth like excess use of resources in some part of the world, the overpopulation of many species, etc. This creates a significant imbalance in nature. Thus, we need to understand the importance of biodiversity.

Also, we must take the necessary actions to maintain all three diversities. Without the proper conservation of this diversity, we could end up in different precarious situations.

Few of the causes of explaining the importance of Biodiversity here below:

  • Ecological Stability.
  • Economic Importance.
  • Ethical Importance.

Ecological Stability

In the ecosystem, each & every species has a specific role. They capture and store energy for their survival, and they produce & decompose organic matter. The ecosystem supports all throughout the services upon which humans are dependent on surviving. A diverse ecosystem is actually more productive and can sustain a kind of environmental stress.


Economic Importance

Biodiversity is rich in resources for manufacturing of food, daily use products, and pharmaceuticals necessities. For example, Crops, livestock, fishery, and forests are a highly rich source of diverse food.

For medicinal purposes, wild plants such as Cinchona and Foxglove plant are used. Wood, fibers, perfumes, lubricants, rubber, resins, poison, and cork are all derived from different plant species.

The national parks and sanctuaries are a great source of beauty and joy for many people to learn about nature & animals.


Ethical Importance

If you consider the spiritual point of view, all the species have a right to exist. Humans don’t have their right to voluntary extinction. In a different part of the world, biodiversity preserves different cultures and spiritual heritage. Therefore, it is essential to conserve Biodiversity across the globe.

Types of Biodiversity : Which type of biodiversity is most important?

Over the last two hundred years and so, the number of people worldwide has grown at a tremendous rate. And because of that growth, the need for more food, more housing, and bigger towns and cities also grew. One of these growth results has been damage to many fragile ecosystems – the places where plants, animals, and other life forms live together.

Today, many countries have laws and regulations to prevent damage to their land and water. They have learned that maintaining healthy ecosystems is suitable for everyone. But in some different parts of the world, like rainforests, the land is being cleared at a tremendous and alarming rate. And the future doesn’t look as bright.

Rainforests are a crucial source of food, fuel, and oxygen for the people who live in them, but 80 percent of the world depends on rainforest plants’ medicines. There are plants – like the pacific yew – in many parts of the world that help us.

The Pacific yew provides a particular chemical called Taxol, used in treating cancer. Another important plant is the Foxglove, used for people who suffer from heart disease. Therefore, biodiversity is essential to the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Now its time to explain how biodiversity measure.

Lets deep dive!!

How Biodiversity Measure? Three ways of measuring Biodiversity; alpha, beta & gamma

Biodiversity is a measuring process that combines richness and evenness across species. It is often measured as because high biodiversity is perceived as synonymous with ecosystem health. In general criteria diverse communities are believed to have impactful stability, increased productivity, and resistance to have invasion and other disturbances.

Biodiversity can be expressed at various scales, such as-

  • Alpha Diversity.
  • Beta Diversity.
  • Gamma Diversity.
ways of measuring Biodiversity
ways of measuring Biodiversity

Alpha Diversity is actually richness and evenness of individuals within a particular habitat unit.

Take an example in the figure below, Alpha Diversity of Site A is equal to 7 species, Site B is equal to 5 species, Site C is equal to 7 species.

Beta Diversity is expression of diversity between habitats. Take an example below, the greatest Beta Diversity is detected between Site A and Site C with 10 species that is differ between them and only 2 species found common.

Gamma Diversity is landscape diversity or diversity of habitats within a particular landscape or region. Here in this example, the gamma diversity is 3 habitats with 12 species of total diversity.

Major types of Biodiversity Loss: Reasons for Loss of Biodiversity

The major reasons and types of biodiversity loss as-

  • Human influence.
  • Transformation & loss of the habitats.
  • Exotic species and genetically modified organisms (GMO).
  • Pollution.
  • Climate change.
  • Overexploitation of resources.

Human influence:

Biodiversity due to natural protected areas has been linked to lower disease instances such as malaria and Lyme disease, where 60% of infectious diseases generally originate from animals, and 70% of emerging infectious diseases initiate from wildlife, take the example of the COVID-19 the exact origin of this virus is still unknown. As human activities influence upon the natural world, we reduce the size and number of ecosystems through deforestation and urbanization. As a result, animals live in close contact with one another and with humans, creating ideal conditions for the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Transformation & loss of the habitats :

The alteration of the natural areas determines the loss of vegetable species and decreases the animal species associated with them.

Exotic species and genetically modified organisms (GMO):

Generally, species originate from a particular area, but introduced into new natural environments can cause different forms of imbalance in the ecological equilibrium. That is “Introduction of exotic species and GMOs”.
Pollution: Adverse human activity influences the natural environment producing, direct or indirect, effects that alter the natural flow of energy, the chemical & physical composition of the environment, and the abundance of the species.
Climate change: The warm Earth’s surface affects Biodiversity because it endangers all the species adapted to the cold due to the latitude, e.g., Polar species, or the altitude, e.g., Mountain species.

Overexploitation of resources:

The human-centric activities connected with capturing and harvesting, for example, hunting, fishing, farming any particular renewable natural resource in a specific area is excessively intense; the help itself might become exhausted. For example, are the case of herrings, sardines, tuna, cod, and many other species that human captures without giving enough time for the organisms for natural reproduction.

Let’s find out how do humans benefit from biodiversity? Here are 5  benefits of biodiversity :

Here I explain five top most outstanding benefit from diversity such as-

  1. Health and Food Security ensured by Biodiversity.
  2. Biodiversity Fight against Disease.
  3. Biodiversity Benefits our Business.
  4. Biodiversity that Provides Livelihoods.
  5. Biodiversity Protecting The Mother Earth in various ways.


a) Health and Food Security ensured by Biodiversity

Biodiversity underpins food security and global nutrition. A significant number of species work together to provide us with an extensive array of vegetables, fruits, and animal products essential to a healthy, balanced diet – but are increasingly under a lot of threat.

Every country has various indigenous produce – such as grains and wild greens – adapted to local environments, making them more resilient to pests and intense weather. Previously, this produce provided much-needed micronutrients for native populations. Awkwardly, though, the simplification of diets, processed foods, and poor access to food have led to poor-quality of diets. Because of this, one-third of the world suffers from micronutrient deficiencies.

b)  Biodiversity Fight against Disease

Improved Human health is a result of higher rates of biodiversity.

First, plants are vital for medicines. For an example, 25% of modern medicine drugs are from rainforest plants, whereas 70% of cancer drugs are natural or synthetic products those are inspired by nature, which means every time a species goes for extinct, we miss out on a potential medicine to rescue us.

Second, biodiversity due to protected natural areas has been linked to lesser disease instances such as malaria and Lyme disease. Whereas the particular origin of the virus causing pandemics such as COVID-19 is still unknown to us, around 60% of infectious diseases come from animals, and around 70% of emerging infectious diseases originate from direct wildlife.

As human activities encroach upon the natural world, we reduce the size and number of ecosystems through deforestation and urbanization. That’s why; animals those live in closer quarters with one another and with humans are creating ideal conditions for the spread of zoonotic diseases.


c)  Biodiversity Benefits our Business

More than half of the world’s GDP that is around $44 trillion is highly dependent on nature, according to the World Economic Forum’s recent Nature Risk Rising Report. Therefore, many businesses are at risk due to increasing nature loss.

Global sales of pharmaceuticals based on natural origin materials are worth an estimated around $75 billion a year, whereas natural wonders such as coral reefs are outmost necessity to food and tourism. There is unlimited prospective for the economy to develop and become more resilient by safeguarding biodiversity. 


d)  Biodiversity that Provides Livelihoods:

Humans originate approximately $125 trillion of value from natural ecosystems each year. If you consider globally, three out of four jobs are dependent on the water, while the agricultural sector employs almost 60% of the world’s poorest population. In the Global South, forests are the greatest source of livelihoods for almost 1.6 billion people. 

Therefore, ecosystems must be secure and restored – not only for the nature but also for the surrounding communities that depend on them.


e) Biodiversity Protecting The Mother Earth in various ways.

Biodiversity makes the Earth habitable for all of us, diverse ecosystems provide nature-based solutions that safeguard us from natural disasters such as storms and floods, filtering our water, and regenerating our soils.

The destruction of over 35% of the world’s mangroves for human-centric activities has increasingly put people and their habitat at risk from flooding and sea-level rise. If all the mangroves were lost, 18 million & more people would be flooded every year from different part of the world, and annual damages to the property would increase by 16% that is almost $82 billion.

Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems is essential to fighting climate change. Nature-based solutions could provide almost 37% of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed by 2030 to continue global warming within 2°C (35.6 F).

Some Interesting Biodiversity Facts :

  • Although over time Biodiversity has increased, it has steadily gone down in the past 35 years.
  • The current decline in biodiversity is comparable to the massive extinction of many animals over 65 million years ago.
  • Among all the ecosystems on Earth, coral reefs have the most diversity.
  • On land, areas near the equator are more diverse because of the pleasant climate.
  • Biodiversity is very important to an ecosystem because each species plays a different role in maintaining the ecosystem.
  • Any Disasters generally ruin an ecosystem, but if any area is rich in biodiversity, the ecosystem will recover soon.
  • There is a way to ensure an increase in biodiversity by preserving a species and its habitat.
  • The increase in global warming is a massive factor that decreases biodiversity by destroying individual organisms’ habitats.
  • The changes in ocean temperature, length of seasons, and amount of precipitation are all factors that affect the biodiversity.

Few interesting Video on Biodiversity :

By describing “Biodiversity,” you can get the idea of the incredible variety of animals and plants on Earth. It’s the magical ingredient that enables the earth work smoothly. Our Planet showcases the world’s natural wonders, iconic species, and wildlife spectacles, discover the story of the one place we all call home.

#Our planet’s diverse and thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but they’re vulnerable to collapse. Jungles can become deserts, and reefs can become lifeless rocks. What makes one particular ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? Kim Preshoff details the answer why to no small extent, is biodiversity.

You can Lesson by Kim Preshoff, animation by TED-Ed. Why is biodiversity so important? – Kim Preshoff & here is the Video

#What is Biodiversity & Its Importance? Environmental Science for Kids | Educational Videos by Mocomi

Concluding remarks on Types Of Biodiversity

Modern life has weakened the connections between humans and nature, and the trend does not augur well for the sustainability of life on earth. Ever-increasing rates of habitat and ecosystem degradation will result in the eventual non-existence of living organisms on earth, the only place where humans can live, as far as we know. The history of human interaction with nature demonstrates destructive consequences.

These pressures are likely to intensify in the post-COVID-19 world.

Yet biodiversity conservation has a vital role in mitigating perennial problems such as infectious diseases, food insecurity, gaps in nutritional uptake, lack of rural livelihood opportunities, and the declining flow of ecosystem services such as freshwater. Many of these problems have been laid bare by the pandemic, and climate change is expected to exacerbate the decline in types of biodiversity. However, biodiversity-based natural solutions may potentially address major environmental problems and foster human well-being meaningfully.




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