• [118] Services hindered[edit] Provisioning services • Greater species diversity of plants reduces primary production (Synthesis of 7 experimental studies)[54] Regulating services
    • greater genetic and species diversity of a number of organisms reduces freshwater purification (Synthesis of 8 experimental studies, although an attempt by the authors to investigate the effect of detritivore diversity on freshwater purification
    was unsuccessful due to a lack of available evidence (only 1 observational study was found[102] • Effect of species diversity of plants on biofuel yield (In a survey of the literature, the investigators only found 3 studies)[102] • Effect
    of species diversity of fish on fishery yield (In a survey of the literature, the investigators only found 4 experimental studies and 1 observational study)[102] Regulating services • Effect of species diversity on the stability of biofuel
    yield (In a survey of the literature, the investigators did not find any studies)[102] • Effect of species diversity of plants on the stability of fodder yield (In a survey of the literature, the investigators only found 2 studies)[102] •
    Effect of species diversity of plants on the stability of crop yield (In a survey of the literature, the investigators only found 1 study)[102] • Effect of genetic diversity of plants on the stability of crop yield (In a survey of the literature,
    the investigators only found 2 studies)[102] • Effect of diversity on the stability of wood production (In a survey of the literature, the investigators could not find any studies)[102] • Effect of species diversity of multiple taxa on erosion
    control (In a survey of the literature, the investigators could not find any studies – they did, however, find studies on the effect of species diversity and root biomass)[102] • Effect of diversity on flood regulation (In a survey of the
    literature, the investigators could not find any studies)[102] • Effect of species and trait diversity of plants on soil moisture (In a survey of the literature, the investigators only found 2 studies)[102] Other sources have reported somewhat
    conflicting results and in 1997 Robert Costanza and his colleagues reported the estimated global value of ecosystem services (not captured in traditional markets) at an average of $33 trillion annually.

  • [31] Some 0.075 million species of fungi had been documented by 2001;[32] • 1 million mites[33] • The number of microbial species is not reliably known, but the Global Ocean
    Sampling Expedition dramatically increased the estimates of genetic diversity by identifying an enormous number of new genes from near-surface plankton samples at various marine locations, initially over the 2004–2006 period.

  • [92] Some scientists believe that corrected for sampling artifacts, modern biodiversity may not be much different from biodiversity 300 million years ago,[89] whereas others
    consider the fossil record reasonably reflective of the diversification of life.

  • [18] As one author states, “Tetrapods have not yet invaded 64 percent of potentially habitable modes and it could be that without human influence the ecological and taxonomic
    diversity of tetrapods would continue to increase exponentially until most or all of the available eco-space is filled.

  • [25] Other estimates include: • 220,000 vascular plants, estimated using the species-area relation method[26] • 0.7-1 million marine species[27] • 10–30 million insects;[28]
    (of some 0.9 million we know today)[29] • 5–10 million bacteria;[30] • 1.5-3 million fungi, estimates based on data from the tropics, long-term non-tropical sites and molecular studies that have revealed cryptic speciation.

  • [99] It has been argued that the present rate of extinction is sufficient to eliminate most species on the planet Earth within 100 years.

  • Colombia is characterized by high biodiversity, with the highest rate of species by area unit worldwide and it has the largest number of endemics (species that are not found
    naturally anywhere else) of any country.

  • While records of life in the sea show a logistic pattern of growth, life on land (insects, plants and tetrapods) shows an exponential rise in diversity.

  • [97][98] Most biologists agree however that the period since human emergence is part of a new mass extinction, named the Holocene extinction event, caused primarily by the
    impact humans are having on the environment.

  • • Greater species and trait diversity of plants may or may not increase long term carbon storage (Synthesis of 33 observational studies)[102] • Greater pollinator diversity
    may or may not increase pollination (Synthesis of 7 observational studies),[102] but a publication from March 2013 suggests that increased native pollinator diversity enhances pollen deposition (although not necessarily fruit set as the authors
    would have you believe, for details explore their lengthy supplementary material).

  • [106] One review found mixed evidence (Synthesis of 287 experimental studies[115]), while another found contrary evidence (Synthesis of 100 experimental studies[112]) • Greater
    species diversity of animals may or may not decrease disease prevalence on those animals (Synthesis of 45 experimental and observational studies),[116] although a 2013 study offers more support showing that biodiversity may in fact enhance
    disease resistance within animal communities, at least in amphibian frog ponds.

  • [40] Estimates reach as high as 140,000 species per year (based on Species-area theory).

  • [34] The findings may eventually cause a significant change in the way science defines species and other taxonomic categories.

  • [120] Agriculture[edit] See also: Agricultural biodiversity Amazon Rainforest in South America Agricultural diversity can be divided into two categories: intraspecific diversity,
    which includes the genetic variation within a single species, like the potato (Solanum tuberosum) that is composed of many different forms and types (e.g.

  • [109][110] Although another review of 38 experimental studies found mixed support for this claim, suggesting that in cases where mutual intraguild predation occurs, a single
    predatory species is often more effective[111] • of plants decreases disease prevalence on plants (Synthesis of 107 experimental studies)[112] • of plants increases resistance to plant invasion (Data from two separate reviews; Synthesis of
    105 experimental studies;[112] Synthesis of 15 experimental studies[113]) • of plants increases carbon sequestration, but note that this finding only relates to actual uptake of carbon dioxide and not long-term storage, see below; Synthesis
    of 479 experimental studies)[54] • plants increases soil nutrient remineralization (Synthesis of 103 experimental studies)[112] • of plants increases soil organic matter (Synthesis of 85 experimental studies)[112] Services with mixed evidence[edit]
    Provisioning services • None to date Regulating services • Greater species diversity of plants may or may not decrease herbivorous pest populations.

  • “[5] • 1967 – Raymond F. Dasmann used the term biological diversity in reference to the richness of living nature that conservationists should protect in his book A Different
    Kind of Country.

  • History of the term • 1916 – The term biological diversity was used first by J. Arthur Harris in “The Variable Desert,” Scientific American: “The bare statement that the region
    contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is entirely inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity.

  • [4] The period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity named the Holocene extinction, and
    often referred to as the sixth mass extinction.

  • [citation needed] The rate of species loss is greater now than at any time in human history, with extinctions occurring at rates hundreds of times higher than background extinction

  • “[18] It also appears that the diversity continues to increase over time, especially after mass extinctions.

  • [100] New species are regularly discovered (on average between 5–10,000 new species each year, most of them insects) and many, though discovered, are not yet classified (estimates
    are that nearly 90% of all arthropods are not yet classified).

  • [58] Areas with dense human populations and intense agricultural land use, such as Europe, parts of Bangladesh, China, India and North America, are less intact in terms of
    their biodiversity.

  • Biodiversity generally tends to cluster in hotspots, and has been increasing through time, but will be likely to slow in the future as a primary result of deforestation.

  • According to one of the researchers, “If life arose relatively quickly on Earth…then it could be common in the universe.

  • [87] The origin of life has not been established by science, however, some evidence suggests that life may already have been well-established only a few hundred million years
    after the formation of the Earth.

  • [35][36] Since the rate of extinction has increased, many extant species may become extinct before they are described.

  • [49] Dave Goulson of Sussex University stated that their study suggested that humans “appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently
    on course for ecological Armageddon.

  • [94] Diversification[edit] The existence of a global carrying capacity, limiting the amount of life that can live at once, is debated, as is the question of whether such a
    limit would also cap the number of species.

  • [46] In absolute terms, the planet has lost 58% of its biodiversity since 1970 according to a 2016 study by the World Wildlife Fund.

  • Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is considered one such hotspot, containing roughly 20,000 plant species, 1,350 vertebrates and millions of insects, about half of which occur nowhere

  • [21] • The 1992 United Nations Earth Summit defined “biological diversity” as “the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, inter alia, terrestrial,
    marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.

  • [119] Since the Stone Age, species loss has accelerated above the average basal rate, driven by human activity.

  • [59] Role and benefits of biodiversity General ecosystem services[edit] Further information: Ecosystem services From the perspective of the method known as Natural Economy
    the economic value of 17 ecosystem services for Earth’s biosphere (calculated in 1997) has an estimated value of US$33 trillion per year.

  • [18] However, not all scientists support this view, since there is uncertainty as to how strongly the fossil record is biased by the greater availability and preservation
    of recent geologic sections.

  • [61][62] The biodiversity of forests varies considerably according to factors such as forest type, geography, climate and soils – in addition to human use.

  • This is despite the fact that high-income countries use five times the ecological resources of low-income countries, which was explained as a result of a process whereby wealthy
    nations are outsourcing resource depletion to poorer nations, which are suffering the greatest ecosystem losses.

  • Definitions “Biodiversity” is most commonly used to replace the more clearly-defined and long-established terms, species diversity and species richness.

  • [107] However, there is not enough data to draw a conclusion about the effect of tree trait diversity on wood production.

  • [38] Loss of biodiversity During the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasingly observed.

  • [23] • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines biodiversity in 2019 as “the variability that exists among living organisms (both within and
    between species) and the ecosystems of which they are part.

  • diversity within a single species) increases overall crop yield (synthesis of 575 experimental studies).

  • [93] Most of the terrestrial diversity is found in tropical forests and in general, the land has more species than the ocean; some 8.7 million species may exist on Earth,
    of which some 2.1 million live in the ocean.

  • [18] Estimates of the present global macroscopic species diversity vary from 2 million to 100 million, with a best estimate of somewhere near 9 million,[59] the vast majority

  • [95] On the other hand, changes through the Phanerozoic correlate much better with the hyperbolic model (widely used in population biology, demography and macrosociology,
    as well as fossil biodiversity) than with exponential and logistic models.

  • [58] A new method used in 2011, put the total number of species on Earth at 8.7 million, of which 2.1 million were estimated to live in the ocean.

  • “[86] Evolution History[edit] Biodiversity is the result of 3.5 billion years of evolution.

  • [60] Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic[88] The history of biodiversity during the Phanerozoic (the last 540 million years), starts with rapid growth
    during the Cambrian explosion—a period during which nearly every phylum of multicellular organisms first appeared.

  • The ongoing global biodiversity crisis not only involves biological extinctions, but also the loss of experience and the gradual fading of cultural knowledge and collective
    memory of species.

  • Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in many ways, although a few negative effects are studied.

  • The conservation of the world’s biodiversity is thus utterly dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world’s forests.

  • In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all organisms living on Earth.

  • [41] This figure indicates unsustainable ecological practices, because few species emerge each year.

  • [47] The Living Planet Report 2014 claims that “the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40
    years ago”.

  • [16][17] An advantage of this definition is that it presents a unified view of the traditional types of biological variety previously identified: • taxonomic diversity (usually
    measured at the species diversity level)[18] • ecological diversity (often viewed from the perspective of ecosystem diversity)[18] • morphological diversity (which stems from genetic diversity and molecular diversity[19]) • functional diversity
    (which is a measure of the number of functionally disparate species within a population (e.g.

  • [1] Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth; it is usually greater in the tropics as a result of the warm climate and high primary productivity in the region near
    the equator.

  • Several ecological factors may contribute to the gradient, but the ultimate factor behind many of them is the greater mean temperature at the equator compared to that of the

  • The reduction is caused primarily by human impacts, particularly habitat destruction.

  • [93] Diversity appears to increase continually in the absence of natural selection.

  • The other category of agricultural diversity is called interspecific diversity and refers to the number and types of different species.

  • [96] The hyperbolic pattern of the world population growth arises from a second-order positive feedback between the population size and the rate of technological growth.

  • [72] In this study, the species pool size and the fractal nature of ecosystems were combined to clarify some general patterns of this gradient.

  • “[3] Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity.

  • Estimates on the number of Earth’s current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86% have not yet been described.

  • [22] • Gaston and Spicer’s definition in their book “Biodiversity: an introduction” in 2004 is “variation of life at all levels of biological organization”.

  • “[50] In 2020 the World Wildlife Foundation published a report saying that “biodiversity is being destroyed at a rate unprecedented in human history”.


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