A1.3.3 Importance of Biodiversity


All ecosystems are complex and all species play a part in each of them. Biodiversity is critical to maintain the balance of the earth’s ecosystems.

What good are wasps?

That’s a question I hear a lot. Well, they eat aphids and they pollinate flowers. They play an important role in helping plants reproduce and reducing the number of pests in your garden.

We have seen from the previous sections that something as simple as the element nitrogen has an affect on the fertility of soil and the growth of plants. This in turn will affect all animals that eat plants and in turn, all animals that eat them.

Once you remove a species from a food chain, or reduce its numbers, you impact upon the rest of that food chain. For example, increased pesticide use has reduced the number of insects. These insects are the primary food source for bats and therefore the number of bats is in decline. The intention of the pesticides was to reduce the number of insects, not bats, but it had that affect anyway.

Some organisms provide valuable services such as pollination, cleaning air and controlling pests. Others provide economic benefit and some are just beautiful and have aesthetic value. It is also thought that there are many benefits yet to be discovered, such as cures for disease. Whatever their perceived value, all organisms play a valuable role in our ecosystem.