Biodiversity’s Importance

The caption above the article is interesting in that it provides a perspective. This perspective is one in which Earth is a unique planet in that it is able to support life. But the caption goes on to reveal that theres more than just life as there is incredible diversity on this planet. The beauty of this is that in all of the earths complexities with all its living creatures and inhabitants, there is a web that connects all us. This theme has been common in our readings and this time it is no different. The article tackles how biodiversity loss can ultimately effect humanity.

Studies have shown that having great biodiversity provides efficiency of the use and breakdown of essential nutrients along with increasing stability of ecosystem functions. However, there is consensus in that marginal losses of biodiversity can create even bigger changes to an ecosystem. Since everything is connected, this can be attributed to a statement in that diverse communities are productive.┬áSimilar to Silliman’s paper on trophic cascades, consensus statement five and six essentially stresses the dangers of loss of diversity between trophic levels.

The article takes into consideration that many of the studies are questionable in their validity in that the biodiversity of earth cannot simply be replicated. Even so, trends have emerged, and valuable data has come out of it.

What I found amazing is that the significance of biodiversity has been recognized over twenty years ago and was an issue many agreed to address, yet here we are two decades later and while some biodiversity loss could be expected, the rate of loss was primarily increasing.

While it seems that we have accomplished little in terms of prevention, there has been a lot of groundwork put in place in terms of understanding. As Cardinale says, the next generation of research is going to be carried out in a way that will make use of all of the previous years findings and maintain biodiversity.

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