- Biodiversity is the general term used to describe variety in the living world.
- It refers to the number and variety of living organisms in a particular area and has three components:
- Species diversity refers to the number of different species and number of individuals of each species within any one community.
- Genetic diversity refers to the variety of genes possessed by the individuals that make up any one species.
- Ecosystem diversity refers to the range of different habitats within a particular area.
- One measure of biodiversity is species diversity. It has two components:
- the number of different species in a given area.
- the proportion of the community that is made up of an individual species.
Species Diversity and Human Activites
- Mankind has had a considerable impact on the natural world and has led to a reduction in biodiversity.
- Agriculture and deforestation are the two main activites which have reduced species diversity.
Impact of agriculture
- Natural ecosystems have complex communities with many individuals of a large number of different species, and so have high species index.
- Agricultural ecosystems are controlled by humans and are different to natural ecosystems.