Overview of biodiversity

Biological diversity (biodiversity) refers to the total variation of life forms from all sources including dry land, rivers and other freshwater systems as well as the sea and oceans.

This includes the whole range of living organisms i.e. microorganisms, plants, fungi and animals. Three levels of variation are recognized:

i.        Genetic diversity: Genetic variation arises because all living things possess a unique set of genes that makes them different from all others. For example, differences between breeds of dogs have arisen because of differences in their genetic makeup. Even different individuals of the same breed still show differences among them, again because each individual has a unique genetic makeup / . Genetic diversity therefor includes all the different genes contained in living organisms.

ii.        diversity: This refers to all the differences between populations of , as well as between different species.

iii.        diversity: At the highest level is variation within and between ecosystems that living things are part of. This includes the different habitats, biological communities, ecological processes etc.overview

The value of biodiversity

Biodiversity is essential for human life. It enriches the quality of human lives in many ways. We derive a range of services and benefits which are both tangible and intangible from biodiversity. Read more >

An organism’s entire collection of genetic material.
An organism’s entire collection of genetic material.
A group of populations of similar organisms that is able to breed among themselves but not with other organisms
A geographic area together with all of the living organisms present and the non-living parts of their physical environment.  This also considers the movement and storage of energy and matter through living things and activities.

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