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The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity.
Convention on Biological Diversity defines biodiversity 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 a part; this includes diversity within species,
between species, and ofecosystems."
The number of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the enormous diversity of genes
in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral
reefs are all part of a biologically diverse Earth. Appropriate conservation and sustainable
development strategies attempt to recognize this as being integral to any approach. Almost all
cultures have in some way or form recognized the importance that nature, and its biological
diversity has had upon them and the need to maintain it. Yet, power, greed and politics have
affected the precarious balance.
Thus, biodiversity includes genetic variation within species, the variety of species in an area, and
the variety of habitat types within a landscape. Perhaps inevitably, such an all-encompassing
definition, together with the strong emotive power of the concept, has led to somewhat cavalier
use of the term biodiversity, in extreme cases to refer to life or biology itself. But biodiversity
properly refers to the variety of living organisms.
Biological diversity is of fundamental importance to the functioning of all natural and humanengineered ecosystems, and by extension to the ecosystem services that nature provides free of
charge to human society. Living organisms play central roles in the cycles of major elements
(carbon, nitrogen, and so on) and water in the environment, and diversity specifically is
important in that these cycles require numerous interacting species.
The link between climate change and biodiversity has long been established. Although throughout
Earth’s history the climate has always changed with ecosystems and species coming and
going, rapid climate change affects ecosystems and species ability to adapt and so biodiversity
loss increases.


At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived
from biological resources. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity
for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges
as climate change.

Harmanjot Singh Walia . Insects comprise over half of the described species. and for inconspicuous groups of organisms. explaining the wide range in estimates of global species diversity. and from patterns in the description of new species through time. The number of undescribed species is undoubtedly much higher.75 million species have been formally described and given official names. Roughly 1. and three fourths of known faunal species. such estimates are little more than educated guesses. but most estimates fall between 5 million and 30 million species. Estimates of the total numbers of species on Earth have been derived variously by extrapolating from the ratios of described to previously unknown species in quantitative samples. collecting expeditions routinely discover many undescribed species. Particularly in inaccessible environments. Estimates of the number of species currently living on Earth range widely. however. the species diversity of the oceans is generally considerably lower thanterrestrial ones. largely because most living species are microorganisms and tinyinvertebrates. Since insects are essentially absent from the sea.MAGNITUDE : Biodiversity is most frequently quantified as the number of species. For most groups of organisms other than vertebrates. from the judgment of experts in particular taxonomic groups.