Before we start, let us watch a video – why is biodiversity so important?
Many wrongly think that biodiversity is irrelevant to humans because it refers to the variety of both animals and plant life in the world. If you only consider that its benefit in fiscal terms is approximated at $125 trillion per year, you will believe me that biodiversity is critical to humans. But it also keeps the ecosystem and habitat in balance, which means it is more important to us than many have ever imagined. You can talk about water purification, pest control, nutrient cycle, pollination, and many more. Given how much diversity is crucial to you and me, we should explore ways to repay this incredible service. Read on for 5 things that you need to do to help increase biodiversity and your chances of survival in return.
Make the wild animals and plants in your neighborhood to feel welcome. You can do this by providing clean water, privacy, food, and shelter whenever necessary. You can also help clean up and protect reserves, fields, beaches, and parks where these wild animals and plants live. When you notice some of them are injured, volunteer your time to care for them. This way, you will be able to attract more wild species and protect them from many forms of danger that are out there.
At the same time, do not allow misuse of energy in your home or workplace to be a problem. Power companies are able to help you achieve this through their energy audits. These experts are always willing to help since they fully know that it is highly more economical to conserve power than build new energy-generating plants.
Moreover, as you may already know, when you reduce your overall energy demands, you, in turn, bring down the amount of noxious gases, such as carbon dioxide, that you directly or indirectly release into the atmosphere. Remember, most of them contribute to the present erratic changes in the climate. Besides, you also limit the disturbance of habitat for fossil fuel exploration and also make substantial savings. As such, you will do yourself and biodiversity a favor is you benefit from any reasonable governments schemes offer.
If your domestic animals, such as cats and dogs, run loose, they are viewed as an invasive species. In the US alone, close to 44 million free-roaming cats eat more than 3.4 million songbirds per day. Other invasive species also cause great danger to biodiversity both in the US and across the world. For you to prevent this trend in your locality, you need resources, such as www.doghabitat.org, to learn how to harness your pets and prevent further damage. Use them, and you will keep your healthy pets at home for years. And you could contact Dog Habitat via FB.
The food choices we make can also break or make our dream to increase biodiversity. Choose organic foods, as they are safe for your own health and have no adverse impact on the environment. Inorganic ones contribute to the increase in the amount of fertilizers and pesticides in the atmosphere. They also often increase the adverse effects on nearby insects that aid in pollination and also control pests. Also, they are responsible for the alteration of the biodiversity of the adjacent freshwaters. Buy from small-scale traders within your vicinity. If you are at a position, grow your own organic foods.
Governments across the world now recognize that they have an essential role in preserving and improving the biodiversity of their geographical regions and beyond. They have signed critical agreements, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Union for Conservation of Nature that fully support the creation of viable protected areas. Rare species that serve a unique ecological function or are increasingly under threat inhibit these areas.
The success of the efforts to increase biodiversity through this method differs from country to country. Perhaps, the efforts of the government have a direct influence on the effectiveness. Given its significance, citizens can offer moral and political support to the organizations designating and managing these sites. You can also visit one of the centers near you and donate whatever you can afford. The effectiveness of managers of protected areas, therefore, requires the combined effort of everyone and every organization.
Nature provides to us almost anything that we need for survival. The foods, drinks, medicines, and building materials that we highly cherish come from it. If we destroy biodiversity, we expose ourselves to an untold number of problems. In the worst-case scenario, we reduce our chances of survival and that of our dependants.
As such, wise people are now working hard to ensure we are able to co-exist with all the other life forms. They confront whatever scientific data is revealing to us with a kind heart and act with great care. They actively protect nature by taking the above simple steps. For you as an individual or a group to lessen your adverse impacts too, only implement all the five lessons that you acquired from us today.
There are ѕоmе 200 diffеrеnt tуреѕ оf mice in thе Nеw Wоrld – about 1,100 different species wоrldwidе. In thе Nеw Wоrld they аrе sub-divided, hоwеvеr, intо 30 gеnеrаl саtеgоriеѕ, whiсh mаkеѕ thеm a lоt еаѕiеr tо get tо grips with.
Onе of the hidden dаngеrѕ almost every household iѕ еxроѕеd tо iѕ miсе infestation. Thеѕе deadly rоdеntѕ аrе carriers of diffеrеnt tуреѕ оf diѕеаѕеѕ that саn even cause death. Evеn in the оld timе’ѕ rоdеntѕ wеrе considered nоtоriоuѕ bу thе Sосiеtу аѕ they wеrе rеѕроnѕiblе fоr ѕрrеаding thе bubоniс рlаguе whеrе thоuѕаndѕ оf реорlе diеd.
Thе соmmоn hоuѕе mоuѕе оr Muѕ Muѕсuluѕ, is thе best known ѕресiеѕ and you саn ѕее a рhоtо and read аbоut itѕ сhаrасtеriѕtiсѕ аt thе ADW. It iѕ also often kерt as a pet. The white footed mоuѕе (Pеrоmуѕсuѕ Lеuсорuѕ, see the Muѕеum оf Natural Hiѕtоrу) аnd thе dееr mоuѕе (Peromyscus Mаniсulаtuѕ, ѕее thе NSRL) аrе diѕtаntlу connected tо the соmmоn hоuѕе mouse, but more сlоѕеlу related tо each оthеr. However, thе white fооtеd mоuѕе аnd thе dееr mоuѕе cannot breed with thе соmmоn hоuѕе mоuѕе. In Amеriса уоu will also find thе Amеriсаn hаrvеѕt mouse (Reithrodontomys).
Onе оf thе еаѕiеѕt wауѕ tо ѕроt a house mоuѕе iѕ hоw оftеn it moves. Hоuѕе miсе аrе vеrу сuriоuѕ аnd еxрlоrе whenever they’re not eating оr аѕlеер. Although they соmе out more often аt night, miсе саn be ѕроttеd roaming during the dау, tоо. Hоuѕе miсе range in соlоr frоm light to dаrk brоwn, grеу, оr black, аnd they’re vеrу small–adult hоuѕе mice аrе оnlу 7.5 tо 10 сеntimеtеrѕ long and uѕuаllу only wеigh a роund аnd a hаlf. House mоuѕе droppings are tinу, drу, and реllеt-ѕhареd; thеу often look likе rods with роintеd еndѕ.
Onе mоrе еаѕу way you lооk fоr hоuѕе miсе iѕ to find gnaw mаrkѕ оn furniturе, bоxеѕ, аnd аnуthing еlѕе thаt соuld bе rеасhеd frоm thе flооr. Hоuѕе mice еѕѕеntiаllу nеvеr ѕtор tееthing, so they’re соnѕtаntlу оn the lооk-оut for thingѕ tо munсh оn. Look for саrdbоаrd оr paper ѕhаvingѕ, аlоng with gnaw mаrkѕ on baseboard аnd ѕiding, еѕресiаllу along corners.
Thе tеrm, field mouse, iѕ оnе applied tо various diffеrеnt species of miсе that can bе fоund living in fiеld conditions. In the Old Wоrld, a соmmоn tуре оf fiеld mouse is Apodemus ѕуlvаtiсuѕ. It is a long-tailed animal, nосturnаl with burrоwing hаbitѕ thаt fееdѕ on succulent рlаntѕ. Anоthеr соmmоn Old World ѕресiеѕ iѕ thе Eurореаn hаrvеѕt mouse (Miсrоmуѕ minutus). Thiѕ iѕ a vеrу ѕmаll аnimаl, muсh ѕmаllеr thаn mоѕt mice ѕресiеѕ.
Thе соmmоn hоuѕе mоuѕе iѕ about 3 to 4 inсhеѕ lоng with a tail of about the ѕаmе length. It hаѕ аgоuti fur, which is a рigmеntаtiоn раttеrn whеrе individuаl hairs have light аnd dark band. The tiрѕ of thе hаirѕ are blасk.
The whitе footed mоuѕе iѕ muсh larger than the hоuѕе mоuѕе at bеtwееn 6 аnd 8 inches in lеngth, with a shorter tail of between 3 аnd 4 inсhеѕ lоng. It has аgоuti fur on itѕ bоdу, and itѕ bеllу iѕ whitе, аѕ well аѕ its fееt.
Thе deer mоuѕе iѕ thе hаiriеѕt оf thе thrее. Thiѕ hаirinеѕѕ iѕ bеѕt seen аrоund itѕ еаrѕ whеrе it саn often have a whitе tuft аt the bаѕе оf thе еаr. It hаѕ an аgоuti bоdу with a lighter соlоurеd bеllу. It iѕ thе lаrgеѕt оf the thrее at between 4 1/2 tо 8 1/2 inсhеѕ in length, with a tail of bеtwееn 2 inсhеѕ аnd 4 inсhеѕ long.
Alѕо known аѕ whitе-fооtеd mоuѕе аnd fiеld mоuѕе, thiѕ brееd оftеn fееdѕ оn grаinѕ, ѕееdѕ, and fruit. Known to aggravate fаrmеrѕ by infiltrаting ѕtоrаgе bins аnd grаin silos, thеѕе rodents аrе well-known carriers оf thе dеаdlу Hаntаviruѕ thаt оnсе caused multiрlе deaths in the Unitеd Stаtеѕ. Thеѕе rоdеntѕ are prolific brееdеrѕ аnd саn ԛuiсklу infest a home.
Nееdlеѕѕ to ѕау, they роѕе ѕеvеrе riѕkѕ tо hеаlth fоr bоth humаnѕ and pets, аnd hеnсе ѕhоuld nеvеr be аllоwеd tо infest dоmеѕtiс property. Thеу rерrоduсе 2 tо 4 timеѕ per уеаr and hаvе аrоund four рuрѕ реr littеr. The gestation period iѕ around 20 dауѕ, аnd thеу саn brееd thrоughоut thе year indoors.
Fеаѕting оn seeds, grаinѕ and fruit, Fiеld Mice often аggrаvаtе fаrmеrѕ whеn thеу infiltrate grain ѕilоѕ аnd storage binѕ. Thеѕе rodents аrе wеll-knоwn саrriеrѕ thе dеаdlу Hаntаviruѕ whiсh hаѕ caused numеrоuѕ dеаthѕ in thе United Stаtеѕ. As prolific brееdеrѕ, they роѕе serious health riѕkѕ fоr humаnѕ аnd реtѕ.
Rаtѕ аrе basically bigger, nаѕtiеr mice. Thе Norway rаt, аlѕо known аѕ the “brown rаt,” iѕ by fаr thе mоѕt соmmоn rаt. Evеrу rаt in Nеw Yоrk City (and there аrе a lot оf thеm), is a Nоrwау rat. Nоrwау rаtѕ hаvе bесоmе so реrvаѕivе because thеу’rе highly аdарtаblе. Thе ѕресiеѕ еvоlvеd tо thrivе in humаn-dоminаtеd environments еxtrеmеlу efficiently. Norway rats саn еаt nеаrlу аnуthing. Thеу еѕtаbliѕh a fоrаging tеrritоrу, whiсh thеу еffесtivеlу utilize fоr аll thе resources thеу nееd. Unlikе mice, Nоrwау rаtѕ саn bе аggrеѕѕivе whеn cornered, and may bitе humаnѕ in аn аttеmрt to dеfеnd thеmѕеlvеѕ оr escape.
Unfоrtunаtеlу, rats аlѕо саrrу more diѕеаѕеѕ thаn mice. Norway rats аrе a knоwn carrier аnd trаnѕmittеr оf pathogens thаt mау саuѕе Wеil’ѕ diѕеаѕе, сrурtоѕроridiоѕiѕ, virаl hеmоrrhаgiс fever, rаt bitе fеvеr, and more. While miсе are mоѕtlу a harmless nuiѕаnсе, rаtѕ present a bigger рrоblеm.
Nоrwау rats are bеtwееn 8 to 10 inches lоng аnd weigh 9 to 12 оunсеѕ. Thеir fur iѕ соаrѕеr thаn a mоuѕе’ѕ, аnd it’ll рrоbаblу bе dаrkеr brоwn оr grey, аnd dirtier. Nоrwау rаtѕ’ еуеѕight iѕ notoriously bad, ѕо mоѕt rats ѕtiсk tо a ѕеt rоutinе of fоrаging. If уоu look closely еnоugh, уоu may bе аblе tо see grease stains or dirt mаrkѕ whеrе rats repeatedly rubbed аgаinѕt thе wall tо help them find thеir wау.
The science of conservation biology is in an exciting period, and you can see this if you notice the interest that people have in biodiversity. Dramatic changes in conservation priorities in the last one-decade points to the fact that the field is under constant development. The crucial variations are helping to determine the future of biodiversity and humanity.
What is Biodiversity?
This term ‘biodiversity’ refers to the variety of different life forms within a particular ecosystem. You can measure this at different levels. At the largest scale, you can consider different species on the entire earth. On the other hand, you can study it on a much smaller scale, such as within a pond ecosystem or neighborhood park.
If you consider the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), for example, you will notice that it is gathering and studying lots of research data about Australian plants, animals, microorganism, and more with the view to make it easy to analyze biodiversity data at the local level. You can find the information they have distributed in the countless database, specimen catalogs, and websites and use them to make important decisions on conservation. ALA is using some of the advanced methods to measure biodiversity so as to mitigate the risks of inaccuracy.
How is Biodiversity Measured?
There are plenty of ways to measure biodiversity. Read on to find the most important ones in each of the two levels.
When appropriate, researchers count the frequency at which different genetic patterns occur by mapping the genes and chromosomes of different life forms. Certain biological factors determine the color, height, and behavior of different animals. When a scientist considers these variations by counting the genetic patterns, they are able to measure biodiversity accurately.
Alternatively, they evaluate the physical appearances. This method of mapping works in reverse as the first one. In this case, experts do not focus on the genes and chromosomes of different animals and plants. Instead, they study the variations in physical appearances and then attribute the outcome to the most probable genetics causes.
Remember, most scientists consider measuring biodiversity at the genetic level the most reliable method. These measurements are efficient for examining managed populations or agricultural crops. As such, you can use them when you want to practice selective breeding or plants crops with particular characteristics.
You can also measure biodiversity at the ecosystem level if you want to evaluate the health of the entire ecosystem. The results are used to compare the health of two or more ecosystems.
Researchers often pick sample plots and count all the species in these places. They rely on a number of factors, including the size of the ecosystem and the physical characteristics of the targeted life forms to determine the desired sample size. Alternatively, they only measure keystone species.
What are Spatial Scales of Measuring Biodiversity?
When measuring biodiversity at the genetic level, Alpha-diversity is required. This common method incorporates the estimates of ‘richness.’ This involves counting the number of different species using a number of indices.
One of them is The Simpson Index, which considers the number of the species as well as their relative abundance to the entire population of the ecosystem. The other option is The Shannon Index, which always factors in the order of species within a sample plot. You can use any of them to establish the pattern of the distribution of different species.
At the ecosystem level, beta-diversity is used to describe changes in biodiversity. It helps to show the variations in the richness of different species within an ecosystem. Gamma-diversity is another way researchers use to measure biodiversity. In particular, they rely on it to find the total biodiversity.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to measure diversity on the genetics or ecosystem level, the entire process may appear too involving. However, it is worth it. These numbers are important for determining the right strategies to protect and preserve an ecosystem. When you are able to quantify what you want to conserve, you will be able to plan and manage the entire process well. As such, if you want to measure biodiversity, use the right methods, and express the results at the different scales correctly to be able to achieve your conservation goals.
There are about 13 million different species of animals, microorganisms, and plants on the earth, but scientists have identified only close to 1.75 million of them. Through biodiversity, researchers have been identifying and evaluating their contribution to the entire ecosystem. Today, no one can deny that biodiversity can determine the future of the world. The different species play a crucial role in ensuring that the natural cycles in the world run as required.
The data that scientists have already mined are helping to solve the global environmental problems and many other issues. As such, they make the earth habitable to human beings in many ways. Here are the chief benefits of biodiversity to all people.
How can life be if we lack the capacity to produce high-quality food that meets our dietary needs? You can tell that the earth can be inhabitable to humans. This is where biodiversity comes into our rescue. Genetic food diversity helps us to develop the right diet. Different species have varied nutritional values. Through agricultural diversity, it is also possible to discover secrets and improve food security. Thus, biodiversity helps humans to develop resistance and resilience to all manners of food-related stress.
In the present century, scientists rely on biodiversity to get the necessary resources for medical research. When they study wildlife anatomy, biochemistry, and other related courses, these experts get insights into issues such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and osteoporosis. In this way, doctors can use it to develop the most efficient medicines to cure many diseases.
The ecosystem grants us the cultural services that we need to lead productive lives. For example, we depend on biodiversity to get inspiration, aesthetics, traditional wisdom, recreation, and education. Besides, it enables humans to able to develop the kind of relations that need to form with nature to be healthy.
Participating in outdoor activities has the potential to help people make the right relations with nature much ease. As such, biodiversity has the potential to have a direct impact on the psychological and psychological health of human beings across the world.
Building Blocks for Life
Biodiversity provides the building blocks for human life in a variety of ways. Nature is responsible for essential activities such as cycling of nutrients, pollination, and photosynthesis. Both plants and animals depend on this biodiversity. Humans depend on plants and animals for food and other essential purposes. Without these supporting services, the ecosystem cannot exist.
Nature provides all the necessary materials that we need to trade with each other. For example, we get fuels and paper from wood. Some of these products come from nonrenewable sources, which rely on the carbon cycle. The environment also produces natural fibers that humans use to make a variety of items that ultimately find themselves in the marketplace.
Other essential things that the environment produces are food, clothing, and shelter. In this regard, biodiversity provides all our basic needs. Also, it makes it possible for people to take part in active selling and buying of the products to be able to lead their lives in the best ways possible.
Biodiversity offers a natural buffer against many natural disasters. For example, trees and other plants help to prevent drought, landslides, and soil erosion. If human beings allow the habitats of different species to be depleted, it may have a direct and indirect impact on the ability of people to avoid disasters or hide under some of them. Besides, they may lack the support for the relief and recovery efforts. As such, biodiversity reduces the possibility of people die due to disaster, and it also offers humans refugee when such events occur.
The Bottom Line
Biodiversity guarantees humans the right to lead healthy lives. This means they are able to lead lives that are free from diseases. Additionally, nature allows people to be in a state of cultural, social, physical, emotional, and economic stability. Given the contribution of diversity to the success of human beings, it is the real foundation for holistic health. In this regard, the positive relationship between biodiversity and the ability of people to lead productive lives makes it necessary for all individuals to support efforts to invest in more research.
A landscape of research infrastructures for biodiversity and ecosystem science – has been released. The CReATIVE-B project supports the interaction between the LifeWatch ESFRI Research Infrastructure with Research Infrastructures (RI) on biodiversity and ecosystems research in other parts of the world. The project is to be a catalyst for worldwide collaboration in this field by supporting and initiating coordination activities of these RIs, with the objective to serve the goals of GEOSS. The project is addressing two main audiences engaged in biodiversity and ecosystem research: the scientific research communities and their related RIs as well as the international policy bodies and international organizations
The CReATIVE-B road map provides guidance and recommendations for interoperability on the technological and governance levels between RIs and the scientific communities using the RIs for biodiversity infrastructures and ecosystem research.
During this event, a roadmap of global data infrastructures supporting biodiversity and ecosystem research will be presented. In the last two decades quite a number of activities emerged to manage, share and deploy the fast growing data volumes from observations, collections, sensors and other data sources in biodiversity and ecosystem research. This data “gravity” pushed new applications and services, resulting in the development and establishment of large-scale research infrastructures. Following an initiative of the European LifeWatch research infrastructure, a number of large-scale data research infrastructures with a global outreach in this scientific area teamed together in the project Creative-B (Coordination of Research e-Infrastructures Activities Toward an International Virtual Environment for Biodiversity). The collaboration resulted in drafting a global Roadmap focusing on common priorities and infrastructure engagement, enhancing infrastructure interoperability, and the legal and governance implications. Specific issues are addressing challenges to sustain data availability and services, user interaction and value delivery, cooperation for infrastructure interoperability as well as legal interoperability, and finally education and training. This Roadmap shows how global interaction is promoting complementary development while fostering synergy for supporting frontier research and addressing global and societal challenges. The event in Brussels will also highlight some implications for other stakeholders such as funding and governmental bodies.
ESFRI initiatives with a need to work on a global scale will have to collaborate with international comparable partners.
The CReATIVE-B project will seek to support the interaction between the LifeWatch ESFRI Research Infrastructure with Research Infrastructures (RI) on biodiversity and ecosystems research in other parts of the world.
The immediate objective is to define a road map for interoperability on the technological level, on the governance level and on the interrelation with the scientific communities using the RIs.
The project will therefore be a catalyst for worldwide collaboration in this field by supporting and initiating coordination activities of these RIs. The greater objective of this collaboration is to serve the goals of GEOSS. At the same time, the international outreach of LifeWatch can lead to further international collaboration on interoperability of these infrastructures to even better serve research communities worldwide.
In order to do so, CReATIVE-B will initiate with the international ‘sister’ infrastructures to have a second edition of the e-Biosphere conference, to be organized in 2013, and contribute to this conference.
In achieving the goals of this coordination and support action, CReATIVE-B will further support the European Commission flagship, vision 2020.