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 ?
Depletion of Bio-diversity is the biggest ecological problem of India today: The extinction of species creates irreversible changes in nature e.
How can we sustainably use nitrogen to produce the food, fiber and energy for the Earth's seven billion people while minimizing degradation of air and water quality, bio-diversity and ecosystem services, is the critical question today," pointed out Dr Sybil P Seitzinger of International Geosphere -Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden, during one of the sessions.
Here bio-diversity and fun meet and inspiration and learning go hand in hand.
The new company will focus on landscape design and build processes committed to resource conservation, intelligent irrigation and bio-diversity.
And yet, despite being owned by Liverpool city council for 32 years and accepted as a site of nature conservation value, the gasworks still has no reserve status or any legal protection to safeguard this bio-diversity.
Also on the agenda of today's session will be the second reading of the drafts military service & retirement, Iraq's joining of the agreement on bio-diversity and the Islamic conference agreement to fight the international terrorism.
The value of bio-diversity to Ireland is valued in total at around EUR2.
It will focus on the contribution that green roofs can make to sustainable urban regeneration, climate change adaptation, sustainable storm water management as well as improvements to local bio-diversity and quality of life within cities.
To Wilton Park, a British government conference center, came scientists and policy makers concerned with forestry, climate change, bio-diversity, and bio-energy in November of 2006 for an international conference.
Cresswell Associates, founded in May 1995, by Dr Warren Cresswell and Dr Stephanie Wray, is among the leaders in the provision of environmental consultancy services, particularly in the areas of ecology, conservation and bio-diversity studies.
This sum will enable the Dzanga-Sangha project whose aim is to protect the bio-diversity and forest eco-systems in the west of the country and on the Congo-Brazzaville border to continue until 2007.
Welcoming its launch, European Union (EU) research Commissioner Janez Potocnik said: "We definitely undervalue the contribution of soil to our bio-diversity, but unless we protect it better, we will soon realise its importance in the worst possible way--by seeing the problems caused by its loss.