Biodiversity is a variation of life which can be studied and photographed on many different levels. I chose both ends of the rainbow so to speak. The highest level, photographing the birds and down to the lowest level of the “understory” that grows from the tiniest speck with all its surroundings providing an important place in the “circle of life.” Wikipedia describes it as “Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life. This can refer to genetic variation, species variation, or ecosystem variation within an area, biome, or planet.”
Why is it important?
The California Biodiversity Council explains it as:
“Everything that lives in an ecosystem is part of the web of life, including humans. Each species of vegetation and each creature has a place on the earth and plays a vital role in the circle of life. Plant, animal, and insect species interact and depend upon one another for what each offers, such as food, shelter, oxygen, and soil enrichment.”
According to NWF:
Researchers have estimated that there are between 3 – 30 million species on Earth, with a few studies predicting that there may be over 100 million species on Earth! Currently, we have identified only 1.7 million species, 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. Tropical rainforests have the most diversity.
- The most diverse group of animals are invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including insects, crustaceans, sponges, scorpions and many other kinds of organisms. Over half of all the animals already identified are invertebrates. Beetles are some of the most numerous species.
- Science has so much more to learn about the biodiversity of microscopic organisms like bacteria and protozoa.
They also describe the importance of biodiversity and ecological importance as:
Biodiversity is extremely important to people and the health of ecosystems. A few of the reasons are:
- Biodiversity allows us to live healthy and happy lives. It provides us with an array of foods and materials and it contributes to the economy. Without a diversity of pollinators, plants, and soils, our supermarkets would have a lot less produce.
- Most medical discoveries to cure diseases and lengthen life spans were made because of research into plant and animal biology and genetics. Every time a species goes extinct or genetic diversity is lost, we will never know whether the research would have given us a new vaccine or drug.
- Biodiversity is an important part of ecological services that make life livable on Earth. They include everything from cleaning water and absorbing chemicals, which wetlands do, to providing oxygen for us to breathe—one of the many things that plants do for people.
- Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust to disturbances like extreme fires and floods. If a reptile species goes extinct, a forest with 20 other reptiles is likely to adapt better than another forest with only one reptile.
- Genetic diversity prevents diseases and helps species adjust to changes in their environment.
- Simply for the wonder of it all. There are few things as beautiful and inspiring as the diversity of life that exists on Earth.
Reference to this information: NWF Organization
Having been a bird photographer for several years and a wanderer in the forests and woodlands, these variations of life are intriguing and important to me. I am not a scientist or expert in the field by any means but I am a Professional Photographer and I make images to hopefully inspire many others to respect and protect the fragile things on our planet. Educating young people, impressing on their minds the necessity of tending our world is essential. I focus most of my photography efforts on capturing images of both birds and the “understory” of the woodlands in their natural surroundings and daily habitat.
Most of my images are available as stock photography for magazines, educational media and other forms of presentations. Some images are sold as prints for the home and office. Please feel free to contact me about questions concerning any image you may see on my website or gallery.
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