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 ?
Yet despite this great diversity of life, the report has warned that humans are having a devastating impact on the numbers of many species through fishing and pollution.
BRUSSELS -- As millions worldwide celebrate World Environment Day on Saturday and reflect on how they can conserve the diversity of life on Earth, a Flash Eurobarometer survey finds more than 9 in 10 adults in the European Union agree that biodiversity loss is a very or fairly serious problem globally.
Instead it brings about the huge diversity of life on earth by gradually changing species.
These galleries will share the story of life on Earth from the beginning--from our world-famous meteorite collection to an exploration of the vast diversity of life on our planet.
He asserted, in his groundbreaking book On the Origin of Species, that natural selection determined the diversity of life on Earth.
I want to work with people around the coast to establish a national network of marine conservation zones to help protect the richness and diversity of life in our seas.
We must do all that we can to save these forests, for the rich diversity of life within them, for ourselves and for our children," Huff said in a release.
A BIO-WALL demonstrating the diversity of life is to be one of the major features of the new Great North Museum.
In this time of concern over the fate of the Arctic regions, Polar Bear, Arctic Hare illuminates the rich diversity of life that abounds in the far north.
Natural theologians saw in nature, in the diversity of life, and in the perfection of an organism's adaptation to the environment proof that God had designed all life in its complexity and beauty.
Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, with CD-ROM, by Cecie Start and Ralph Taggart; and English: The Wadsworth Handbook, by Laurie G, Kirszner and Stephen R.
The tremendous diversity of life on earth, particularly with insects, will keep a curious person like myself busy for several lifetimes to come,'' he said.

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