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PROJECT TOPIC: EFFECTS OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS ON ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

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Biodiversity (biological diversity) is commonly defined as the variety of all life. It includes genetic, species and ecosystem diversity and all the interactions between them. Biodiversity is important because it contributes to environmental, economic, cultural and social well-being by providing valuable ecosystem services such as pollination, carbon storage by forests, bio filtration of water, nutrient cycling, soil formation, erosion control, sediment retention and recreation opportunities. Biodiversity influences ecosystem services, that is, the benefits provided by ecosystems to humans that contribute to making human life both possible and worth living. the major direct causes of human-induced biodiversity loss are deforestation and fragmentation, introduction of invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources; pollution of air and water (by several activities such as agriculture), and climate change-induced biodiversity loss - these factors being inextricably linked with some or all of the other direct causes and in turn are driven by underlying causes. The loss of biodiversity has many consequences such as effects on fresh water ecosystem, rainforest, ecosystem stability and species interaction. It is apparent that mankind is willing to sustain a great deal of biodiversity loss if there are concomitant benefits to society. Losses in biodiversity in rainforests cause significant changes in ecosystem health. Humans have always altered their habitat. However, as human increases in number and technological abilities increase, anthropogenic changes to ecosystems cause environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. Many are worried that the current biodiversity loss rates are much higher than historically recorded (background or natural) ones. Some estimates suggest that 25% of all mammal species may become loss in the near future. As many as 50% of primates, 37% of hoofed mammals (Horses and deer) and 26% of bats and carnivores (Bears and Raccoons) are currently at high risk of total disappearance. It has been assessed that 30% of all known fish species are now threatened with biodiversity loss as well. To solve the problems of biodiversity losses, people need to be educated on the importance of environments to humans, creating protected areas where human activity is limited is the best way to prevent deforestation and exploitation of organisms and the resources they need to survive, slowing climate change; Any effort as individuals, organizations, or governments, to slow current human-caused global warming is a step towards slowing biodiversity loss, promoting sustainability; Sustainable agriculture is much better for the environment than grazing and cropping that rely on clearing  of forest.


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