biodiversity

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biodiversity

(bī′ō-dĭ-vûr′sĭ-tē)
n.
1. The number and variety of species found within a specified geographic region.
2. The variability among living organisms on the earth, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems.

biodiversity

The existence of complex flora and fauna in an ecosystem; the genetic diversity of natural organisms. Biodiversity increases the overall productivity of a plot of land, and maximises its resistance to disturbances—e.g., drought. In prairie ecosystems stressed by drought, recovery to a normal state of productivity was more rapid in experimental plots of vegetation with the greatest biodiversity, a finding that supports the need to maintain biodiversity.

Loss of biodiversity—i.e., a reduction in the number of species, subspecies and strains—will be disastrous for the planet's ecosystem. An example would be growing a crop food, e.g., corn or rice, from only one highly productive, rapid-growing, spoil-resistant strain—while seemingly having all the desirable features, if the strain became susceptible to a particular pathogen, all those dependent on the crop could face famine.

Marine biodiversity may be in a state of ecological crisis due to coastal development—e.g., destruction of estuaries, motorised marine vessels, ocean dumping, oil spills, overfishing with trawling of the ocean floor and subsequent disruption of bottom communities and coral reefs, overwhaling, pollutant runoffs, and toxic tides due to eutrophication.

biodiversity

see DIVERSITY.
References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 2001 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Bioversity International, on behalf of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR), the Trust is raising a $260 million endowment to maintain the world's most critical germplasm for agricultural crops as well as building the capacity of crucial collections in developing countries.
Executing Agency : Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Bioversity International, Office for South Asia
Gotor E and C Irungu The impact of Bioversity International's African leafy vegetables programme in Kenya.
Executing Agency : State Committee of Nature Protection of Uzbekistan Republic; Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan Republic; Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of UzR; Institute of Genetics and Plant Experimental Biology of the Academy of Sciences of UzR; Bioversity International, (regional office for Central Asia, Tashkent).
3) Bioversity International,ViadeiTreDenari 472/a 00057, Maccarese (Fiumicino), Rome, Italy.
The man who designed the Brazilian programme, Graziano da Silva, is now director general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which is supporting the UN campaign, along with the International Fund for Agriculture (Ifad), the World Food Programme (WFP), Unicef, the World Bank and Bioversity International.
3) Scarab Soluciones, Ecuador (previously worked for Bioversity International)