Biological Diversity or Biodiversity is that part of
‘nature’ which includes the differences in genes among the individuals of a
species, the variety and richness of all the species in a region, as well
the various types of ecosystems within a defined area.
All three levels of variability are a part of the living
component of our planet called the ‘biosphere’. The unit of biodiversity
referred to, could be global or sub global, or could form a characteristic of a
geographical region, or a political entity such as a country, a state or
Dear Candidate, This Material is from CAPF (Assistant Commandant) Study Kit.
An ecosystem is a geographical unit with its own biotic
features such as climate, soil, water and a variety of inter linked species of
plants and animals.
Examples are the forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers, lakes
and seas around us. Each ecosystem has its own level of biodiversity that is
measured by the number of species present in it.
The biodiversity of a region is a valuable ‘natural resource’
which forms a part of every ecosystem. Man is a part of these ecosystems and is
dependent on their integrity. Diversity in wild species forms the ‘gene pool’
from which our crops and domestic animals have been developed over thousands of
years. Today the variety of nature’s bounty is being further harnessed through
breeding programmes for crops and domestic animals or through biotechnology, by
manipulating genes for developing better types of medicines and industrial
The unimaginably large variations found in nature influence
the day to day lives of millions of people. Some people depend on biodiversity
for their very survival. This is most obvious in the tribal communities who
gather resources from the forest. For others, such as agricultural communities,
it is used to improve their way of life. Urban communities generally use the
greatest amount of goods and services, which are all indirectly drawn from