Environmental Studies

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REN 1201 Environmental Studies


31. Introduction �

31.1. Biodiversity �

31.1.1. Three distinct levels of biodiversity � Species diversity � Ecosystem diversity �

31.2. Extinction �

42. Five major causes of extinction �

42.1. Habitat destruction �

42.2. Habitat fragmentation �

52.3. Invasion of exotic species �

52.4. Over-exploitation �

52.5. Pollution �

63. Conclusion �

64. List of References �


Biodiversity is the variety of life for different plants, animals and micro-organisms, their genes and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Our survival totally depends on biodiversity, as only one missing link in the food chain can disturb the whole food chain and can create undesirable changes in our ecosystem. As human beings are dependent on ecosystem for food, water and clean air hence slight alterations in the biodiversity can unbalance the ecosystem. These slight alterations are caused by human interference in the ecosystems, which had increased the extinction rate considerably.

If no proper steps are taken to stop this interference, then the sixth mass extinction awaits in near future.


It is a combination of the words biological and diversity. The term refers to the diversity of living beings in the world. The current definition of biodiversity can be given as "the sum total of all biotic variation from the level of genes of ecosystem (A. Le Broque, 2007).

Three distinct levels of biodiversity

The variety of life is expressed in a multiplicity of ways. This variety can begin to be made distinguishing between different key elements. These are the basic building blocks of biodiversity. They can be divided into three groups.

Genetic diversity

It encompasses the components of the genetic coding that structures organisms and variation in the genetic make-up between individuals within a population and between populations (K.J. Gaston...