Cleared land, cleared biodiversity
Definition of biodiversity; how biodiversity maintains ecosystems.
The word ‘biodiversity’ has crept into eco vocab along with carbon emission, global warming and climate change. What does it mean and why should we care?
Biological diversity or biodiversity is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other within an environment. The complexity and intricacy of interdependency makes Earth a uniquely habitable place for us. Biodiversity also gives us varied goods to sustain us and keep us on the go.
Here’s a close up view of biodiversity. There are numerous tree types and bushes in a forest. This rich vegetation is supported by resplendent communities of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and insects - each distinctly different by way of living. Fungi and microbes that live above and below the ground are essential too - they help recycle nutrients to support living vegetation.
Eagle Vale vineyard treats emus as pets not pestsIf an ecosystem goes undisturbed for a long time, it usually has a large variety of species, interacting with each other on a relatively stable basis and using all available nutrients efficiently. What can make it go so wrong? One, natural disasters. The other, humans, by occupying land with concrete, hunting large animals, using pesticides, destroying birds’ nesting sites through logging, and other self-seeking actions.
Here’s an example of how our actions stifle biodiversity. We may remove hedges to get a few more feet of field to plow. But this makes it hard for birds to nest near the fields; so insect pests formerly eaten by the birds may suddenly multiply. If we understand the intricate and varied balances of biodiversity, we can avoid interfering with them.
Shy pheasant preserves itself from Southwest Australia roadsAccording to the Convention on Biodiversity, biological diversity is not just about plants, animals and microorganisms and their ecosystems - it is also about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.
Everything is there for a reason. Before you decide to get rid of something that’s part of the nature, think about the chain of effects that can trigger, big or small.
Photos by Mallika Naguran.