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From the Fall 2013 Conservationist for Kids

frog

Why is Biodiversity Important

By Gina Jack

Biodiversity is more than just a list of the plants, animals and other living organisms in an area. Biodiversity recognizes that individual components interact with each other and with their surroundings.

  • Soil provides a place for plants to grow, plants provide shelter and food for animals, microbes decompose dead matter and return it to the soil, where it is available to plants once again.

Like the players on a sports team, each component in an ecosystem has a unique role to play. In addition to food, there are other benefits (e.g., shelter) that components of an ecosystem provide for each other.

Imagine a whole pond or forest and all the parts that function together. If one component disappeared or was reduced in number, many others would be affected. The more diverse an ecosystem, the better it copes with change.

Photo: Lena Aitner