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Folder What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is a neologism derived from the words bio and diversity.

At the beginning of the eighties, Thomas Lovejoy introduced the concept of "biological diversity" (biological diversity, Lovejoy, 1980), a few years later (1986), the Forum on Biological Diversity in the U.S., entomologist EOWilson first used the term "biodiversity" (biodiversity) .

To date there is no standard, universally accepted definition of biodiversity.

In the broadest sense, biodiversity means the variability of a comprehensive life: plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms.

Under the Convention on Biological Diversity  (CDB - Convention on Biological Diversity), the adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. years, biodiversity has been defined as "the variability among living organisms, including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems".

In any case, biodiversity, or "biological diversity" means the totality of genes, species and ecosystems on Earth. This term includes three levels of organizational diversity međuuslovljena:

  • Genetic diversity - the diversity of genetic material of individuals and populations of the same species
  • Species diversity - the totality of organic species on Earth since the beginning of life until today. The richness of species (species richness) as a measure of species diversity is the number of species in a particular region and is often (wrongly) between these two concepts put an equal sign
  • Ecosystem diversity - the diversity of habitats, living communities, ecosystems and ecological processes
Examples of intraspecies diversity
Examples of species diversity

Interdependence of these levels is the obvious: genetic diversity is contained in the individual and populations of species participating in the types of species diversity, stepping in complex ecological interactions in building various kinds of ecosystems.

So far, described and classified between 1.5 and 1.75 million of organic species on Earth (and LeCointre GUYADER 2001, Cracraft 2002). Scientists suspect that this number represents only a small part of the total number of species on the planet. Estimates of total number of species range from 3.6 to 80, including over 100 million, but more realistic estimates suggest the existence of 13 to 20 million species on Earth (Hammond 1995, Cracraft 2002).

Taxon

Domestic Name

Number of described species

Percentage of total number of described species

Bacteria

Праве бактерије

9.021

0.5

Archaea

Архебактерије

259

0.01

Bryophyta

Маховине

15.000

0.9

Lycopodiophyta

Пречице

1.275

0.07

Filicophyta

Папрати

9.500

0.5

Coniferophyta

Четинари

601

0.03

Magnoliophyta

Цветнице

233.885

13.4

Fungi

Гљиве

100.800

5.8

"Porifera"

Сунђери

10.000

0.6

Cnidaria

Жарњаче

9.000

0.5

Rotifera

Ротаторија

1.800

0.1

Platyhelminthes

Пљоснати црви

13.780

0.8

Mollusca

Мекушци

117.495

6.7

Annelida

Чланковите глисте

14.360

0.8

Nematoda

Ваљкасти црви

20.000

1.1

Arachnida

Паукови

74.445

4.3

Crustacea

Ракови

38.839

2.2

Insecta

Инсекти

827.875

47.4

Echinodermata

Бодљокошци

6.000

0.3

Chondrichthyes

Хрскавичаве рибе

846

0.05

Actinopterygii

Кошљорибе

23.712

1.4

Lissamphibia

Водоземци

4.975

0.3

Mammalia

Сисари

4.496

0.3

Chelonia

Корњаче

290

0.02

Squamata

Рептили

6.850

0.4

Aves

Птице

9.672

0.6

druge

193.075

11.0

The total number of species on Earth 1747851

Species are not evenly distributed on Earth. Ecosystem diversity is dependent on the physical properties of the environment, diversity of species and interactions between species, and species interactions with the environment. There are very complex ecosystems with many species, such as tropical rain forests and coral reefs, but also simple ecosystems such as arid (warm) and frigorifilne (cold) desert, with a very small number of species. Generally, warm and humid environment with long days (such as tropical rain forests) provide a living world more resources for growth and reproduction. Favourable conditions for growth and proliferation of primary producers (plants) leads to the appearance of a large number herbivornih species (herbivores), and this in turn results in the presence of a predator or karnivora. In cold ecosystems, the development of primary producers is limited by seasonal changes in temperature and day length, and in their diversity of flora and fauna is always lower than in the warm tropical ecosystems.

Tropical rainforest 
coral reef
Forest and grassland of moderate continental areas
Desert ecosystems-sandy deserts and tundra

The demographic explosion, and with it the growing needs of the population, led to a rapid increase in use of natural resources, and therefore alarming threat to natural habitats and wildlife in them

Pollution and environmental threats

The main factors are changes compromising biodiversity and habitat fragmentation, over-exploitation of resources, different types of pollution, as well as settlement and invasive non-indigenous species.

Examples of habitat fragmentation

One current example of a massive spread of the invasive species Ambrosia artemisiifolia. In recent years in many countries, and in our intensive work on monitoring and combating the spread of this highly allergenic species.

Ambrosia artemisiifolia

The main objective of conservation biology is the preservation and protection of biodiversity on the planet. General standards for the assessment of biodiversity based on the criteria for determining the type of vulnerability of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (Red List and Red Data Book of IUCN), important botanical area (IPA), significant ornithological habitats (IBA) and the categorization of habitats (CORINE and NATURA 2000).

Literature

Cracraft, C. (2002). The seven great questions of systematic biology: an essential foundation for conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 89, 127-144.

Hammond, P. (1995). The current magnitude of biodiversity. In V.H. Heywood and R.T. Watson (Eds.): Global Biodiversity Assessment. (pp. 113-138). Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press

Lecointre, G. and H. Le Guyader.(2001). Classification phylogenetique du vivant. Paris, France : Belin.

Lovejoy, T. E. (1980). Foreword. In: Soule, M. E. & Wilcox, B. A. (Eds.): Conservation Biology: An evolutionary ecological perspective, V-IX. Sinauerr Associates, Sunderland, Mass.

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