Biodiversity and Ecological Resilience for Sustainable

Development

Presented by:-
Dr. S. K. Pandey
Department of commerce & Business Management
J.S. College , Nilamber Pitamber University
Daltonganj , Palamau
Jharkhand , India
ABSTRACT

Biodiversity is the variety of life . Biodiversity is a term that can be used to describe biological
diversity at a variety of different scales, but in this context we will focus on the description of
species diversity. Species play essential roles in ecosystems, so local and global species losses
could threaten the stability of the ecosystem services on which humans depend . Climate change
and other human-driven environmental changes will continue to cause biodiversity loss in the
coming decades, in addition to the high rates of species extinctions already occurring worldwide
. There is currently great concern about the stability of both natural and human-managed
ecosystems, particularly given the myriad global changes already occurring. A stable system is
one having low variability (i.e., little deviation from its average state) despite shifting
environmental conditions. This is often termed the resistance of a system. Resilience is a
somewhat different aspect of stability indicating the ability of an ecosystem to return to its
original state following a disturbance or other perturbation. Sustainable development is the
organizing principle for sustaining finite resources necessary to provide for the needs of future
generations of life on the planet. It is a process that envisions a desirable future state for human
societies in which living conditions and resource-use continue to meet human needs without
undermining the "integrity, stability and beauty" of natural biotic systems. This paper discusses
the concepts of biodiversity and ecological stability and sustaining the ability of natural systems
to continue to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy
and society depends. Global warming is also considered to be a major potential threat to global
biodiversity in the future. Climate change has seen many claims about potential to affect
biodiversity but evidence supporting the statement is tenuous. We are facing unprecedented
loss of biodiversity at all levels. Loss of species and habitats and ecosystem degradation due to
pollution and overexploitation occur on such rapid time scales that we need not wait long
before realizing their impacts . The task of preserving ecosystem integrity is challenging. This
can primarily emanate from the setting up of new institutions, from, the strengthening of
existing institutions that lead to the conservation of environment and its resources.

KEYWORDS : Biodiversity, Ecology, Stability , Sustainable Development , Environment.

It can be studied on many levels. They are all part of the species biodiversity of this small ecosystem! Biodiversity is More than Just Species Species diversity is only one part of biodiversity. resilience or stability is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly. At first glance. Examples of species include. Sustainable development : Sustainable development is the organizing principle for sustaining finite resources necessary to provide for the needs of future generations of life on the planet. BIODIVERSITY : Biodiversity is the variety of life.INTRODUCTION Definitions Biodiversity: It is a measure of the variety of organisms present in different ecosystems. Ecology : Ecology is the scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment.You have not even scratched the surface of the biodiversity within the pond! Using a microscope. or species variation (number of species)[1] within an area. Identifying and understanding the relationships between all the life on Earth are some of the greatest challenges in science. Biodiversity is the variety of life. Biodiversity includes the full range of species that live in an area. At the highest level. If we wait a while. we might be able to spot a garter snake. you can study biodiversity within a pond ecosystem or a neighborhood park. A species is a group of living organisms that can interbreed. sunflowers and microscopic bacteria that you cannot even see with your eye. This can refer to genetic variation. . you can see invertebrates and worms under leaves. With a closer look. On a much smaller scale. including cattails and water lilies. you would be able to see hundreds or even thousands of different bacteria that inhabit the pond water. biome. It is a process that envisions a desirable future state for human societies in which living conditions and resource-use continue to meet human needs without undermining the "integrity. we also have to recognize the genetic diversity that exists within species as well as the diversity of entire habitats and ecosystems. ecosystem variation. To properly catalogue all the life on Earth. Ecological Resilience : In ecology. blue whales. we can identify different plants. you can look at all the different species on the entire Earth. or planet. white-tailed deer. stability and beauty" of natural biotic systems. on grasses and in the pond water. a bullfrog or maybe a red-winged blackbird. white pine trees. Most people recognize biodiversity by species. Biodiversity at a Glance Let’s look at the species biodiversity within a local pond. Think you’re done? .

Every time a species goes extinct or genetic diversity is lost. we will never know whether research would have given us a new vaccine or drug. There can be a lot of variation in genes – just think about all the colors. The forests of Maine differ from the forests of Colorado by the types of species found in both ecosystems.Genetic Biodiversity is the variation in genes that exists within a species. They include everything from cleaning water and absorbing chemicals. with a few studies predicting that there may be over 100 million species on Earth! Currently. it’s the variety of ways that species interact with each other and their environment. a forest with 20 other reptiles is likely to adapt better than another forest with only one reptile. and soils. Ecological Biodiversity is the diversity of ecosystems. Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to disturbances like extreme fires and floods. The most diverse group of animals are invertebrates. we have identified only 1. If a reptile species goes extinct. Genetic diversity prevents diseases and helps species adjust to changes in their environment. Beetles are some of the most numerous species. natural communities and habitats. Biodiversity is an important part of ecological services that make life livable on Earth. but their genes can dictate whether they are Chihuahua or a Great Dane. so we have a long way to go before we can come close to figuring out how many species are on Earth! There is more biodiversity within tropical ecosystems than temperate or boreal ecosystems. plants. Most medical discoveries to cure diseases and lengthen life spans were made because of research into plant and animal biology and genetics.30 million species on Earth. and shapes that make up the genetic diversity of dogs. Without a diversity of pollinators. Over half of all the animals already identified are invertebrates. Science has so much more to learn about the biodiversity of microscopic organisms like bacteria and protozoa. including insects. sizes. scorpions and many other kinds of organisms. . which wetlands do. All dogs are part of the same species. Invertebrates are animals without backbones. our supermarkets would have a lot less produce. In essence. A few of the reasons are: Biodiversity allows us to live healthy and happy lives. as well as the temperature and rainfall. Tropical rainforests have the most diversity. to providing oxygen for us to breathe—one of the many things that plants do for people.7 million species. It provides us with an array of foods and materials and it contributes to the economy. These two seemingly similar ecosystems have a lot of differences that make them both special. crustaceans. The Importance of Biodiversity: Biodiversity is extremely important to people and the health of ecosystems. sponges. Some Biodiversity Facts : Researchers have estimated that there are between 3 . A helpful way to understand genetic diversity is to think about dogs.

21% of all mammals and 12% of all birds. Some of the activities have direct effects on species and ecosystems. windstorms. and the introduction of exotic plant or animal species. If we do not stop the threats to biodiversity. Such perturbations and disturbances can include stochastic events such as fires. pesticide sprayed in soil. evolved and then gradually went extinct. and anthropogenic climate change are increasingly causing regime shifts in ecosystems. exploitation of natural resources. There are few things as beautiful and inspiring as the diversity of life that exists on Earth. Helping Biodiversity in your Own Backyard You can play a part in protecting the biodiversity of your local community by creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).[2] Human activities that adversely affect ecosystem resilience such as reduction of biodiversity. land- use. we could be facing another mass extinction with dire consequences to the environment and human health and livelihood. flooding. Species go extinct because of natural shifts in the environment that take place over long periods of time. A Certified Wildlife Habitat can provide food and homes for a range of local species that need your help. That includes 29% of all amphibians. Threats to Biodiversity Extinction is a natural part of life on Earth. A Certified Wildlife Habitat provides food. because of non-natural environmental changes caused by human activities. globally about one third of all known species are threatened with extinction. such as ice ages. shelter. resilience or stability is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly. such as: Habitat loss/ degradation Over exploitation (such as overfishing) Spread of Non-native Species/ Diseases Some human activities have indirect but wide-reaching effects on biodiversity. insect population explosions. fracking of the ground for oil extraction. Over the history of the planet most of the species that ever existed. Disturbances of sufficient magnitude or duration can profoundly affect an ecosystem and may force an ecosystem to reach a threshold beyond which a different regime of processes and structures predominates. including: Climate change Pollution All of these threats have put a serious strain on the diversity of species on Earth. One of the greatest threats to biodiversity is habitat loss. pollution.Simply for the wonder of it all. Today. ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE : In ecology. species are going extinct at an accelerated and dangerous rate. water and a place to raise young for native wildlife—the essential elements of habitat that wildlife need to survive. often to less . and human activities such as deforestation.

mining. tidal surges and flooding damage. the more difficult it is for the forest ecosystem to restore and maintain its balance. climate change is threatening human communities around the world in a variety of ways such as rising sea levels. These include agriculture. One of the main results of climate change is rising sea . various elements such as the water cycle. In addition. a forest ecosystem needs suitable interactions among climate conditions and bio-actions. This leads to a reduction in soil fertility and productivity. the resilience of a forest system allows recovery from a relatively small scale of damage (such as lightning or landslide) of up to 10 per cent of its area. More sustainable agricultural practices would take into account and estimate the resilience of the land and monitor and balance the input and output of organic matter. generally. intensive agriculture practices in response to global food demand and shortages involves the removal of weeds and the application of fertilisers to increase food production. the elements which influence ecosystem resilience are complicated. adaptive resource management. Deforestation The term deforestation has a meaning that covers crossing the threshold of forest's resilience and losing its ability to return its originally stable state. However. as a result of agricultural intensification and the application of herbicides to control weeds. However. and adaptive governance". reorganize. increasingly frequent large storms. which is supposed to be recharged by multiple plants. biodiversity. which can have a domino effect particularly when keystone species are removed or when a significant number of species is removed and their ecological function is lost. If the disturbance is of sufficient magnitude or duration. and evolve into more desirable configurations that improve the sustainability of the system. Agriculture Agriculture can be seen as a significant example which the resilience of terrestrial ecosystems should be considered. Sustainable use of environmental goods and services requires understanding and consideration of the resilience of the ecosystem and its limits. Increasingly. Deforestation also decreases biodiversity of both plant and animal life and can lead to an alteration of the climatic conditions of an entire area. Deforestation can also lead to species extinction.Resilience refers to ecosystem's stability and capability of tolerating disturbance and restoring itself. There are many areas where human activity impacts upon and is also dependent upon the resilience of terrestrial. overfishing.desirable and degraded conditions. plant biodiversity is reduced as is the supply of organic matter to replenish soil nutrients and prevent run-off. At the same time. plant diversity and climate. interact fiercely and affect different systems. The larger the scale of damage. and the need for shift from the maximum sustainable yield paradigm to environmental resource management which aims to build ecological resilience through "resilience analysis. leaving it better prepared for future climate change impacts. Climate change Climate resilience is generally defined as the capacity for a socio-ecological system to: (1) absorb stresses and maintain function in the face of external stresses imposed upon it by climate change and (2) adapt. fertilisers to accelerate and increase crop growth and pesticides to control insects. For example. The organic matter (elements carbon and nitrogen) in soil. aquatic and marine ecosystems. To recover itself. pollution. recreation. possibly permanently. fertility. Interdisciplinary discourse on resilience now includes consideration of the interactions of humans and ecosystems via socio-ecological systems. deforestation. is the main source of nutrients for crop growth. and enough area. dumping of waste into the sea and climate change. a threshold may be reached where the ecosystem undergoes a regime shift.

Dumping of waste into the sea Dumping both depends upon ecosystem resilience whilst threatening it. Dumping of sewage and other contaminants into the ocean is often undertaken for the dispersive nature of the oceans and adaptive nature and ability for marine life to process the marine debris and contaminants. Spills are not the only pressure on marine habitats. and fossil fuel use. Blue fin tuna is at particular risk of extinction. Zooplankton eat the toxic algae and begin passing the toxins up the food chain. and other nutrients come from agriculture. Resilience science has been evolving over the past decade. as more and more . and humans. with significant damage to the coral reefs of the Western Indian Ocean. marine mammals. Once nutrient pollution reaches the coastal zone. And. it stimulates harmful overgrowths of algae. affecting edibles like clams. Many local lowland rivers which are sources of fresh water have become degraded because of the inflows of pollutants and sediments. diversity and the overall functioning of the system. waste disposal. Between 1997-1998 the most significant worldwide coral bleaching event was recorded which corresponded with the El Nino Southern Oscillation. Certain types of algae are toxic. The result can be illness and sometimes death. The extent of damage can therefore be difficult to detect against this background variability. Overfishing It has been estimated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation that over 70% of the world’s fish stocks are either fully exploited or depleted which means overfishing threatens marine ecosystem resilience and this is mostly by rapid growth of fishing technology. waste dumping threatens marine ecosystems by poisoning marine life and eutrophication. However. and increased vulnerability to disease. In addition to overfishing. chronic urban and industrial contamination or the exploitation of the resources they provide are also serious threats. Depletion of fish stocks results in lowered biodiversity and consequently imbalance in the food chain. and ultimately working their way up to seabirds. which are more colloquially referred to as "red tides" or "brown tides". Resilience and sustainable development There is increasing awareness that a greater understanding and emphasis of ecosystem resilience is required to reach the goal of sustainable development. chronic environmental problem in the coastal ocean. who use resilience to describe one of 6 concepts of sustainability. phosphorus. Poisoning marine life The marine ecosystem is highly complex and natural fluctuations in species composition. The discharges of nitrogen. A similar conclusion is drawn by Perman et al. which can have direct toxic effects and ultimately result in low-oxygen conditions. Overgrowths of these algae result in harmful algal blooms. "A sustainable state is one which satisfies minimum conditions for ecosystem resilience through time". through thermal-stress related coral bleaching. One of the negative effects on marine ecosystems is that over the last half-century the stocks of coastal fish have had a huge reduction as a result of overfishing for its economic benefits. productivity.water temperature which has a serious effect on coral reefs. expanding beyond ecology to reflect systems of thinking in fields such as economics and political science. the key to understanding damage and its importance is whether spill effects result in a downturn in breeding success. Eutrophication and algal blooms The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution calls nutrient pollution the most widespread. Nevertheless. coastal communities are suffering the impacts of growing numbers of large commercial fishing vessels in causing reductions of small local fishing fleets. abundance and distribution are a basic feature of its normal function. coastal development.

The areas of degraded land now present in various parts of the world are large. many of these degraded systems are still being used by people and many of these people are poor. however. There is no relevant notion of ecosystem health. at different temporal and spatial scales. increase the populations and distribution of rare and threatened species. ecosystems show a high degree of variability. and functioning. but also for the support of life itself. CONCLUSION We are facing unprecedented loss of biodiversity at all levels. It can be well resourced or modestly funded. as there is for humans: a set of properties that have been selected through evolution because they maximize fitness. in diversity. Our knowledge of the factors maintaining ecosystem integrity is still incomplete. and contribute to the improvement of human well-being. mainly because of the intrinsic complexity of natural systems. There are costs in assuming an effect of human activity on ecosystem integrity when there actually is none. Ecosystems are loosely defined. and other resources. Such variability reflects changes in the community and physical environment due to internal and external disturbance . However. This inherent variability often makes it extremely difficult to separate the relative effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations. We may not succeed in fully eradicating the causes of degradation in these circumstances but there is sufficient evidence from a variety of case studies for us to be optimistic. Further. energy. dynamically changing associations of biotic and abiotic components. This evidence makes it clear that ecological restoration will be a key element not only of conservation but also for sustainable development worldwide. using massive amounts of water. We need measures and concepts to characterize the status and trends in ecosystems and to provide a standard for management. absence of (scientific) evidence should not be interpreted as evidence that environmental impacts are absent. Some systems are severely degraded and will be costly to repair. increase the availability of environmental goods and services. Measures of integrity must reflect the ability of ecosystems to maintain services of value to humans. enhance landscape connectivity. To ignore the impact would be foolhardy. it can involve ecosystems that can be restored quickly or those that will require hundreds of years before ecological recovery can be said to have occurred. Restoration can be large-scale or small scale. not only for humans. In all cases ecological restoration will improve the biological diversity on degraded landscapes. it can be carried out by one or a few individuals or via government programmes involving thousands of participants. Even when not influenced by human activities. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES : The circumstances that we seek to address are often very challenging. but the consequence of assuming no effect when there really is . the need to combine these disciplines to consider the resilience of urban ecosystems and cities is of paramount importance. Clear yes-no answers are rarely available and decisions must be made in the face of uncertainty.people move into densely populated cities. The task of preserving ecosystem integrity is challenging. Loss of species and habitats and ecosystem degradation due to pollution and overexploitation occur on such rapid time scales that we need not wait long before realizing their impacts. structure.

et al.unesco. with possibly irreversible consequences. 2007 Business and Ecosystems: Ecosystem Challenges and Business Implications Bai. Y. United Nations Environment Programme. https://en. World Conservation Monitoring Centre.wikipedia.. too much indulgence in risk-taking could be very dangerous . Waiting for a scientific consensus may delay any decision about conserving the environment. 181–184 (2004). References "What is biodiversity?". IUCN./environment-sustainable-develo . Nature 431. in extent and intensity.org/wiki/Ecological_resilience www. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This becomes crucially important if we accept that. Ecosystem stability and compensatory effects in the Inner Mongolia grassland. human exploitation of natural resources seriously threatens the earth's natural capital. WRI..org/.one is often far greater. Earthwatch Inst.