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 ?
TDF is using these documentaries to educate people about the importance of protecting the country's natural heritage, which is under severe threat due to climate change amongst other factors.
The trust worked with Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside councils and Cestria Community Housing to design the WildGround training programme which aims to plug a skills gap within the natural heritage sector.
The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted in 1972.
The 200-page colour book was released by the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD) and highlights the unique natural heritage of the emirate.
The congress, organised by the Photos Photiadis Foundation, Natural History Museum and The Association for Protection of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of Cyprus, brings together a host of leading experts from around the world.
Our great national cathedrals and monuments are protected for the future so our rich natural heritage should be too.
The initiative aims to promote the UAE's natural heritage, which embraces a stunning variety of habitats, supporting a vast array of species, each superbly adapted to its particular environment.
Green TV, co-ordinated by Tees Valley Arts, aims to raise awareness and increase public access to areas of outstanding natural heritage in Teesside.
Epson, the global market leader in projectors, has announced a successful collaboration with the award-winning Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural & Natural Heritage (CULTNAT) in implementing a state-of-the-art IT solution to promote Egypt's rich cultural and natural heritage.
The award-winning Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural & Natural Heritage (Cultnat) is using new multimedia projectors from Epson to promote Egypt's rich cultural and natural heritage.
At this time of economic and political turmoil, he said, Lebanon badly needs help to give its natural heritage a facelift.
Central Asia with its unique historical background and numerous cultural and natural heritage sites remains one of the most under-represented regions on the World Heritage List.

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