At present, talking about the importance of the conservation of biodiversity is one of the main issues related to the protection of the environment. But do we really know what biodiversity is? Why is it important to conserve it and what tasks should we carry out to conserve it? In general terms, biodiversity is synonymous with variability and, as in other aspects of life, variability is a source of wealth and we must always promote its protection and existence.
In this interesting AgroCorrn article you will learn what the types of biodiversity are , as well as the importance of biodiversity loss and the role it plays in the proper functioning of the planet.
- Types of biodiversity – list and summary
- Genetic biodiversity
- Species biodiversity
- Ecosystem biodiversity
- Types of biodiversity: loss and care
Types of biodiversity – list and summary
Biodiversity, or biological diversity , includes three hierarchical levels or categories. From a more specific or detailed scale to a more generalized or global one, the types of biodiversity are:
- Genetic biodiversity.
- Species biodiversity.
- Ecosystem biodiversity.
In the next sections we will see in detail what each of these types of biodiversity refers to, starting from the idea that the very concept of biodiversity comprises a great complexity from the point of view of scientific processes.
The genetic biodiversity is probably the most unknown type of biodiversity, since its definition and characteristics can be somewhat ambiguous and difficult to understand outside the world of science. In a simple and easy to understand way, we can say that genetic biodiversity refers to the variation that the genes of the populations of living beings present, that is, the variation of the information of the hereditary material that is transmitted between individuals of the same species from generation to generation.
In this way, we can understand that genetic biodiversity is directly related to the evolution of species , since the fact that each and every one of the planet’s species is adapted to the habitat in which they inhabit is due to information from their genetic code , so that the presence of a specific variety of genes is responsible, for example, for giraffes having a long neck to feed on the leaves of the high branches of acacias and other savanna trees or , that hummingbirds are able to fly by staying still at one point and have a long, fine beak to reach inside the flowers on which they feed.
The species biodiversity category is based on the astonishing variety of species that exist on Earth. To understand this concept well, it is important to know that species are a basic unit of classification, which allows the study and grouping of all those organisms that share a series of common biological characteristics and, most importantly, descend from a common ancestor and are able to reproduce with each other and leave fertile offspring.
Thus, it is possible to close and maintain the infinite circle of evolution of the species , since the diversity of species that we know today is the result of successive evolutionary processes of great complexity. Today, scientists estimate the total number of species on the planet between 12 and 100 million, including the gigantic number of species that remains to be described, many of which are found in tropical countries, and these are responsible for harboring the greatest biodiversity of species on Earth.
To further expand this concept, we recommend this other article on What is a native or autochthonous species .
From an ecological and more general point of view within the study of biodiversity, it is possible to distinguish biodiversity from ecosystems . It includes all those relationships that constantly exist between the different organisms that inhabit a certain ecosystem.
Given the complexity of this type of biodiversity, scientists in turn distinguish three types of diversity within the biodiversity of ecosystems:
- Alpha Diversity: refers to the biodiversity that exists within a certain area, defined by a community or ecosystem, in which the richness (number) of species is known, or the different groups of organisms that inhabit it (recognizing them according to the family or taxonomic genus to which they belong).
- Beta Diversity: it is in charge of showing the ecological relationships that exist between the diversity of species of one ecosystem and another, or of the same ecosystem against different environmental gradients. It allows to know in a quantitative way the number of species in those ecosystems susceptible to environmental changes.
- Gamma diversity: this last type of ecosystem biodiversity focuses on describing the total richness of species that we can find on a large scale, that is, in the grouping of several ecosystems.
Types of biodiversity: loss and care
Now that we know the 3 types of biodiversity that exist, it is important to bear in mind that when saying that there is currently an accelerated and massive loss of biodiversity , said loss includes the three levels of biodiversity: genetic, species and ecosystem.
For this reason, it is of vital importance to know and enhance the values of said biodiversity, since, as was acclaimed in the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, “the conservation of biological diversity is in the common interest of all humanity” . Thus, each and every one of the countries of the world must take up the challenge and bet on investing in research and training of technical and professional personnel dedicated to the study of biodiversity, as well as promoting the drafting of laws and conventions that ensure the protection and conservation of biodiversity as a whole, both locally and globally.
In this way, to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, it will be important to reduce human activities harmful to biodiversity, as well as the lack of information and knowledge of biodiversity (local and global), with the aim that all those decisions that have as their goal the conservation of biodiversity, are involved in supporting the sustainable development of biological resources, as well as avoiding the reduction of the global variety of genes, species, habitats and ecosystems.
To finish this topic of the types of biodiversity and their importance, we offer you more information about The importance of biodiversity and its care and the Loss of biodiversity: causes and consequences , in this article and this video.
If you want to read more articles similar to Types of biodiversity , we recommend that you enter our Biodiversity category .
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