A report on Biodiversity

A sampling of fungi collected during summer 2008 in Northern Saskatchewan mixed woods, near LaRonge, is an example regarding the species diversity of fungus. In this photo, there are also leaf lichens and mosses.
Distribution of living terrestrial vertebrate species, highest concentration of diversity shown in red in equatorial regions, declining polewards (towards the blue end of the spectrum) (Mannion 2014)
Apparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanerozoic
Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The blue flowers are Centaurea cyanus and the red are Papaver rhoeas.
Amazon Rainforest in South America
The diverse forest canopy on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, yielded this display of different fruit
Agriculture production, pictured is a tractor and a chaser bin
Eagle Creek, Oregon hiking
Discovered and predicted total number of species on land and in the oceans
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index measures global anthropogenic modification on remaining forests annually. 0 = Most modification; 10= Least.
Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest in Bolivia cause significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.
Male Lophura nycthemera (silver pheasant), a native of East Asia that has been introduced into parts of Europe for ornamental reasons
The Yecoro wheat (right) cultivar is sensitive to salinity, plants resulting from a hybrid cross with cultivar W4910 (left) show greater tolerance to high salinity
Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole. Climate change has started affecting bear populations.
Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)
A schematic image illustrating the relationship between biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and poverty. The illustration shows where conservation action, strategies, and plans can influence the drivers of the current biodiversity crisis at local, regional, to global scales.
The retreat of Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps (situation in 1979, 1991 and 2002), due to global warming.
Percentage of forest in legally protected areas, 2020, from the Food and Agriculture Organization publication The State of the World's Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief
A great deal of work is occurring to preserve the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia while continuing to allow visitor access.

Variety and variability of life on Earth.

- Biodiversity
A sampling of fungi collected during summer 2008 in Northern Saskatchewan mixed woods, near LaRonge, is an example regarding the species diversity of fungus. In this photo, there are also leaf lichens and mosses.

115 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Rainforest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. This is the Gambia River in Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park.

Ecosystem

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An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact.

An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact.

Rainforest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. This is the Gambia River in Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park.
Flora of Baja California Desert, Cataviña region, Mexico
Global oceanic and terrestrial phototroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. As an estimate of autotroph biomass, it is only a rough indicator of primary production potential and not an actual estimate of it.
Sequence of a decomposing pig carcass over time
Biological nitrogen cycling
Loch Lomond in Scotland forms a relatively isolated ecosystem. The fish community of this lake has remained stable over a long period until a number of introductions in the 1970s restructured its food web.
Spiny forest at Ifaty, Madagascar, featuring various Adansonia (baobab) species, Alluaudia procera (Madagascar ocotillo) and other vegetation
A hydrothermal vent is an ecosystem on the ocean floor. (The scale bar is 1 m.)
The High Peaks Wilderness Area in the 6000000 acre Adirondack Park is an example of a diverse ecosystem.
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index measures global anthropogenic modification on remaining forests annually. 0 = Most modification; 10= Least.

Biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem functioning.

Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)

Biodiversity loss

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Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)
Demonstrator against biodiversity loss, at Extinction Rebellion (2018).
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index measures global anthropogenic modification on remaining forests annually. 0 = Most modification; 10= Least.
Industrial processes contributing to air pollution though the emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide.
Mass fishing of Pacific jack mackerel (with possible bycatch) with a Chilean purse seiner.
DPSIR: drivers, pressures, state, impact and response model of intervention
An infographic describing the relationship between biodiversity and food.
Earth's 25 terrestrial hot spots of biodiversity. These regions contain a number of plant and animal species and have been subjected to high levels of habitat destruction by human activity.

Biodiversity loss includes the worldwide extinction of different species, as well as the local reduction or loss of species in a certain habitat, resulting in a loss of biological diversity.

Chart published by NASA depicting CO2 levels from the past 400,000 years.

Human impact on the environment

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Chart published by NASA depicting CO2 levels from the past 400,000 years.
Reduction of one's carbon footprint for various actions.
Human population from 10000 BCE to 2000 CE, increasing sevenfold after the eighteenth century.
Lacanja burn
Fishing down the foodweb
Urban sprawl in California
Soil erosion in Madagascar
Worldwide, the animal industry provides only 18% of calories, but uses 83% of agricultural land and emits 58% of food's greenhouse gas emissions.
A village palm oil press "malaxeur" in Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Child demonstrating for actions to protect the environment (2018)
Summary of major biodiversity-related environmental-change categories expressed as a percentage of human-driven change (in red) relative to baseline (blue)
The primary causes and the wide-ranging effects of global warming and resulting climate change. Some effects constitute feedback mechanisms that intensify climate change and move it toward climate tipping points.
Acid mine drainage in the Rio Tinto River
Smog in Beijing, China
Anti-nuclear protest near nuclear waste disposal centre at Gorleben in northern Germany
Kiviõli Oil Shale Processing & Chemicals Plant in ida-Virumaa, Estonia
The Wachusett Dam in Clinton, Massachusetts
Waste generation, measured in kilograms per person per day
Great Pacific garbage patch
Interstate 10 and Interstate 45 near downtown Houston, Texas in the United States
An Agent Orange spray run by aircraft, part of Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War
A composite image of artificial light emissions from Earth at night
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.

Human impact on the environment (or anthropogenic impact) refers to changes to biophysical environments and to ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans.

Deforestation in New Zealand.

Deforestation

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Removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use.

Removal of a forest or stand of trees from land that is then converted to non-forest use.

Deforestation in New Zealand.
Satellite image of deforestation in progress in eastern Bolivia. Worldwide, 10% of wilderness areas were lost between 1990 and 2015.
Forest Landscape Integrity Index showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest.
Annual deforestation
Annual change in forest area
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil's Maranhão state, 2016
The amount of globally needed agricultural land would be reduced by three quarters if the entire population adopted a vegan diet.
Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation by region, 2000–2010, from FAO publication The State of the World's Forests 2020. Forests, biodiversity and people – In brief.
Drivers of tropical deforestration
The last batch of sawnwood from the peat forest in Indragiri Hulu, Sumatra, Indonesia. Deforestation for oil palm plantation.
Illegal gold mining in Madre de Dios, Peru.
Biophysical mechanisms by which forests influence climate.
Per capita CO2 emissions from deforestation for food production
Illegal "slash-and-burn" practice in Madagascar, 2010
Mean annual carbon loss from tropical deforestation.
Fires on Borneo and Sumatra, 2006. People use slash-and-burn deforestation to clear land for agriculture.
Deforestation of the Highland Plateau in Madagascar has led to extensive siltation and unstable flows of western rivers.
Deforestation in France.
Illegal logging in Madagascar. In 2009, the vast majority of the illegally obtained rosewood was exported to China.
A satellite image showing deforestation for a palm oil plantation in Malaysia
An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, ax heads, chisels, and polishing tools.
Easter Island, deforested. According to Jared Diamond: "Among past societies faced with the prospect of ruinous deforestation, Easter Island and Mangareva chiefs succumbed to their immediate concerns, but Tokugawa shoguns, Inca emperors, New Guinea highlanders, and 16th century German landowners adopted a long view and reafforested."
Deforestation of Brazil's Atlantic Forest c.1820–1825
Deforestation in Suriname c.1880–1900
Tropical deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss)
Deforestation in Venezuela for cattle breeding.
Satellite image of Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic (right) shows the amount of deforestation on the Haitian side
Deforestation around Pakke Tiger Reserve, India
Satellite imagery of locations of the 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires as detected by MODIS from August 15 to August 22, 2019
Deforestation in Ecuador.
An incomplete concept of a framework of policy mix sequencing for zero-deforestation governance. Non-intervention in processes related to beef production via policies may be a main driver of tropical deforestation.
Transferring land rights to indigenous inhabitants is argued to efficiently conserve forests.
Agents from IBAMA, Brazil's environmental police, searching for illegal logging activity in Indigenous territory in the Amazon rainforest, 2018
Bamboo is advocated as a more sustainable alternative for cutting down wood for fuel.
Deforestation in Germany.
Timelapse of recent deforestation of the Amazon rainforest
U.S. Army Huey helicopter spraying Agent Orange during the Vietnam War

Deforestation on a human scale results in decline in biodiversity, and on a natural global scale is known to cause the extinction of many species.

Lucretius

Evolution

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Change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

Change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

Lucretius
Alfred Russel Wallace
Thomas Robert Malthus
In 1842, Charles Darwin penned his first sketch of On the Origin of Species.
DNA structure. Bases are in the centre, surrounded by phosphate–sugar chains in a double helix.
Duplication of part of a chromosome
This diagram illustrates the twofold cost of sex. If each individual were to contribute to the same number of offspring (two), (a) the sexual population remains the same size each generation, where the (b) Asexual reproduction population doubles in size each generation.
Mutation followed by natural selection results in a population with darker colouration.
Simulation of genetic drift of 20 unlinked alleles in populations of 10 (top) and 100 (bottom). Drift to fixation is more rapid in the smaller population.
Homologous bones in the limbs of tetrapods. The bones of these animals have the same basic structure, but have been adapted for specific uses.
A baleen whale skeleton. Letters a and b label flipper bones, which were adapted from front leg bones, while c indicates vestigial leg bones, both suggesting an adaptation from land to sea.
Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) has evolved resistance to the defensive substance tetrodotoxin in its amphibian prey.
The four geographic modes of speciation
Geographical isolation of finches on the Galápagos Islands produced over a dozen new species.
Tyrannosaurus rex. Non-avian dinosaurs died out in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period.
The hominoids are descendants of a common ancestor.
As evolution became widely accepted in the 1870s, caricatures of Charles Darwin with an ape or monkey body symbolised evolution.

It is this process of evolution that has given rise to biodiversity at every level of biological organisation, including the levels of species, individual organisms and molecules.

All adult Eurasian blue tits share the same coloration, unmistakably identifying the morphospecies.

Species

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All adult Eurasian blue tits share the same coloration, unmistakably identifying the morphospecies.
A region of the gene for the cytochrome c oxidase enzyme is used to distinguish species in the Barcode of Life Data Systems database.
The cladistic or phylogenetic species concept is that a species is the smallest lineage which is distinguished by a unique set of either genetic or morphological traits. No claim is made about reproductive isolation, making the concept useful also in palaeontology where only fossil evidence is available.
A chronospecies is defined in a single lineage (solid line) whose morphology changes with time. At some point, palaeontologists judge that enough change has occurred that two species (A and B), separated in time and anatomy, once existed.
A cougar, mountain lion, panther, or puma, among other common names: its scientific name is Puma concolor.
The type specimen (holotype) of Lacerta plica, described by Linnaeus in 1758
Ernst Mayr proposed the widely used Biological Species Concept of reproductive isolation in 1942.
Palaeontologists are limited to morphological evidence when deciding whether fossil life-forms like these Inoceramus bivalves formed a separate species.
Horizontal gene transfers between widely separated species complicate the phylogeny of bacteria.
John Ray believed that species breed true and do not change, even though variations exist.
Carl Linnaeus created the binomial system for naming species.
Blackberries belong to any of hundreds of microspecies of the Rubus fruticosus species aggregate.
The butterfly genus Heliconius contains many similar species.
The Hypsiboas calcaratus–fasciatus species complex contains at least six species of treefrog.
Carrion crow
Hybrid with dark belly, dark gray nape
Hybrid with dark belly
Hooded crow
Seven "species" of Larus gulls interbreed in a ring around the Arctic.
Opposite ends of the ring: a herring gull (Larus argentatus) (front) and a lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) in Norway
A greenish warbler, Phylloscopus trochiloides
Presumed evolution of five "species" of greenish warblers around the Himalayas

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity.

2016 conservation indicator which includes the following indicators: marine protected areas, terrestrial biome protection (global and national), and species protection (global and national).

Conservation biology

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2016 conservation indicator which includes the following indicators: marine protected areas, terrestrial biome protection (global and national), and species protection (global and national).
Efforts are made to preserve the natural characteristics of Hopetoun Falls, Australia, without affecting visitors' access.
White gyrfalcons drawn by John James Audubon
More conservation research is needed for understanding ecology and behaviour of asiatic wild dog in central China.
Roosevelt and Muir on Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park
A pie chart image showing the relative biomass representation in a rain forest through a summary of children's perceptions from drawings and artwork (left), through a scientific estimate of actual biomass (middle), and by a measure of biodiversity (right). Notice that the biomass of social insects (middle) far outweighs the number of species (right).
Tadrart Acacus desert in western Libya, part of the Sahara
An art scape image showing the relative importance of animals in a rain forest through a summary of (a) child's perception compared with (b) a scientific estimate of the importance. The size of the animal represents its importance. The child's mental image places importance on big cats, birds, butterflies, and then reptiles versus the actual dominance of social insects (such as ants).

Conservation biology is the study of the conservation of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions.

Trilobites were highly successful marine animals until the Permian–Triassic extinction event wiped them all out.

Extinction event

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Trilobites were highly successful marine animals until the Permian–Triassic extinction event wiped them all out.
Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta, where erosion has exposed the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.
An artist's rendering of an asteroid a few kilometers across colliding with the Earth. Such an impact can release the equivalent energy of several million nuclear weapons detonating simultaneously.
Many species of plants and animals are at high risk of extinction due to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest

An extinction event (also known as a mass extinction or biotic crisis) is a widespread and rapid decrease in the biodiversity on Earth.

Satellite photograph of deforestation in Bolivia. Originally dry tropical forest, the land is being cleared for soybean cultivation.

Habitat destruction

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Process by which a natural habitat becomes incapable of supporting its native species.

Process by which a natural habitat becomes incapable of supporting its native species.

Satellite photograph of deforestation in Bolivia. Originally dry tropical forest, the land is being cleared for soybean cultivation.
Jungle burned for agriculture in southern Mexico
Farmers near newly cleared land within Taman Nasional Kerinci Seblat (Kerinci Seblat National Park), Sumatra
Chelonia mydas on a Hawaiian coral reef. Although the endangered species is protected, habitat loss from human development is a major reason for the loss of green turtle nesting beaches.
Forest in Grands-Jardins National Park 10 years after a forest fire occurred
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, 2016
The draining and development of coastal wetlands that previously protected the Gulf Coast contributed to severe flooding in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Example of human caused habitat destruction likely capable of reversing if further disturbance is halted. Uganda.
Natural vegetation along this coastal shoreline in North Carolina, US, is being used to reduce the effects of shoreline erosion while providing other benefits to the natural ecosystem and the human community.
Map of the world's biodiversity hot spots, all of which are heavily threatened by habitat loss and degradation

The organisms that previously inhabited the site are displaced or dead, thereby reducing biodiversity and species abundance.

International Union for Conservation of Nature

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International organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

International organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Julian Huxley, the first Director General of UNESCO, took the initiative to set up IUCN.
Africa was the first regional focus of IUCN conservation action.
IUCN Animal Threat Category List
Soviet Stamp commemorating the 1978 IUCN General Assembly in Ashgabat
IUCN's relationships with local land users like the Maasai have caused controversy in the past.
Jean-Paul Harroy
Tracy Philipps
Hugh Elliott
Achim Steiner
Inger Andersen
Bruno Oberle

IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity.