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The term biodiversity is used to refer to diverse kinds of organisms found in an area. This term encompasses animals, plants, fungi as well as other organisms. In essence, biodiversity covers all organisms from very tall plants to microscopic organisms that can only be perceived with the aid of powerful microscopes (National Geographic Society).
There is a special connection between all organisms on this planet. Forests are a home for many animals, and also plant within these forests provide them with food. On the other hand, plants require a soil with sufficient nutrients to grow. Fungi break down organisms and release nutrients into the soil, making it fertile. Insects such as bees facilitate reproduction in plants by carrying pollen from one plant to another (National Geographic Society). If biodiversity decreases, the shared connection between organisms weakens, which harms organisms in a given ecosystem. An ecosystem with a rich diversity is stronger and resilient to adversity compared to one with a lesser variety of organisms. Furthermore, a diverse ecosystem helps humans in a variety of ways such as availing oxygen, materials for construction, medicine, food, and shelter.
There are three ways that scientists can use to obtain a measure of biodiversity in a given ecosystem. One way would be to get the total count of all the species found in a given environment. Tropical areas are bound to have the biggest proportion of different organisms since they are warm all through the year. Temperate areas are bound to have a lesser diversity due to the presence of a cold winter and a warm summer. Secondly, it is possible to obtain a measure of biodiversity by examining widespread species within a given place. For instance, the floristic area in South African has more tan 6,200 different species of plants that do not exist elsewhere (National Geographic Society). Regions consisting of a great variety of prevalent species are known as hotspots of biodiversity. Also, a measure of biodiversity can be obtained by assessing ecosystems. This process entails examining communities into which organisms are grouped and the environment in which these groupings are found (National Wildlife Federation). Finally, biodiversity can be enumerated by examining genetic multiplicity. Genes form the building blocks of organisms.
Diversity is decreasing as a result of extinction. Extinction can be referred to as the process by which some organisms die off while new ones undergo evolution. Currently, organisms are under extinction due to human activities such as habitat degradation, excessive exploitation, and prevalence of disease (National Geographic Society). Other activities indirectly cause the extinction of species such as pollution and climate change. As a result, countries such as the U.S. have enacted Endangered Species Act which is meant to protect endangered species under threat of extinction as a result of human activities. Enforcement of this act is likely to cause a decline in the sale of some rare mushrooms that are a delicacy in high-end hotels.
Based on the map of life, a measurement of the diversity of the Montana region of America provides some interesting insight about the diversity of organisms. In Montana area, the most diverse organisms are the birds, with up to 230 different bird species, followed by butterflies at 117. Interestingly, there are no palms in Montana whereas there is only one species of turtle.
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