Biodiversity and Biodiversity Paper Biodiversity

Submitted By donathans257
Words: 1487
Pages: 6

Samantha Donathan
Mr. Bretz
Biology 112
April 18, 2013
Biodiversity Paper Biodiversity is the term used to describe the variety of life found on Earth and all of the natural processes. This includes ecosystems, cultural and genetic diversity, species diversity and the connections between these. Biodiversity conservation has become a major global concern throughout the recent decades. Human activities have made biodiversity losses increase, corrupted ecosystems and affected the climate. Biodiversity is something that helps us everyday. There are many reasons why biodiversity needs to be protected. We get food, medicine, biotechnology, economics and aesthetics all from biodiversity. Biodiversity is also the way we develop ethics. These are all important and are needed on a daily basis in ways that are not even apparent or appreciated. There are many causes for the loss of biodiversity. Species may be exterminated by man throughout a variety of events. There are direct effects and indirect effects. The direct effects include hunting, collecting and persecution. The indirect causes are habitat destruction and modification. Habitat destruction is not a direct human effect but the habitat destruction does result from the expansion of human populations and human activities. Habitat fragmentation happens when habitats that take up wide areas get divided up into pieces by roads, fields, towns and power lines. The habitat is reduced or divided into fragments. When habitats are destroyed there are usually patches of habitat fragments left behind which eventually become isolated. These biodiversity habitats are getting smaller and smaller everyday and we humans are the main causes of it. We get many resources from biodiversity. Humans depend on it to provide us with food. We have to have food to survive! Growing the food that we eat depends on a number of different factors. Farming involves crop rotation and diversity, farm size and pest control. Crop rotation is important to save or increase the mineral content of the soil, increase crop yields, to get rid of insects, pant diseases and weeds. We often use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for these. Over time though studies have shown that these chemicals contaminated the plants being grown that humans and animals ate. These chemicals were also found to seep through rivers, water tables and streams. This can kill any animal or even human that eats these plants. It can also kill a large amount of animals and fish that are in the rivers and streams the chemicals get into. This can take out a large number of species. In the end, the food produced by organic farming is better for your health and the environment that makes it possible. The next reason why biodiversity should be protected is because of medicine. Many useful medicines come from developing countries environments that are biodiverse. Biodiversity plays a major role in maintaining human and animal health. A very wide variety of plants, animals and fungi are used as medicine, vitamins, pain killers and much more. Natural products have been recognized and used as medicines by ancient cultures all around the world. Many animals are also known to self-medicate using plants and other materials available to them. Developed countries and drug companies have acknowledged the need to search for natural resources in locations with the greatest biological diversity. These areas are concentrated in the world’s poorest developing regions. They are often ravaged by disease and poor health care infrastructure. Streptomycin, neomycin, and erthromycin are antibiotics that come from tropical soil fungi. The rosy periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus is a native Malagasy plant used as a folk medicine for treating diabetes. Research work isolated two products called vinblastine and vincristine from this plant which can treat childhood leukaemias. Survival rates from childhood leukaemias have