Actualizado: 17 de sep de 2019
One of the best sources to understand bio-diversity is the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center: “What is bio-diversity?” that comes in an easy to read PDF format. Is this a new field of science? The UN declared 2011-2020 the decade of bio-diversity! It comes from biological and diversity joining, so it means the study of variations within species, between species, within ecosystems and between ecosystem, measuring the diversity of organisms and their interactions in the ecosystem. There is life in every biome of the Earth, but the most intense activity comes in the Equatorial Belt (e.g. the Mangroves are present in the Planet in a “belt” ca.35 degrees North and South of the Equator), and Marine biodiversity is register highest in the Western Pacific (also more in the Equatorial Belt).
Biodiversity clusters in hotspots, but due to human interaction, invasive species and climate change this trend is changing. Flora and Fauna are “live” components of biodiversity and they have provided for millennia nourishment, protection and development instrument for humanity, and in their totality they add up to 10 to 14 Million species, of which about 10% has been documented and 85% not yet even described.
Earth’s age is about 4.5 million years old and there is scientific proof of 5 major mass-extinctions and many more minor ones, the latest growth was in the Cambrian Period Explosion (+/- 500 Million years ago). It is interesting to note that human specie’s appearance marked the beginning of biodiversity loss, resulting in genetic diversity loss (from habitat destruction).
Previously I mentioned the word: hotspot, in the field of biodiversity hotspot means a place or geographical area with a high-level of endemic (that means a species is unique to specific area or habitat, and if they are common also to others areas then, are called Indigenous) species that are under threat of which the highest is the extinction. They are present in every region of the Earth, with a majority in the Tropical Zones as forest, Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, Madagascar and India are the 5 hotspots consider a biologist’s paradise, given the highest concentration of Indigenous species (high biodiversity), and they are also considered the places with the highest rate of endemism in the world.
Indonesia offers an outstanding: 10% of world’s flowering plants, 12% of world’s mammals and 17% of world’s reptiles, amphibians and birds and spread over its 17 thousands Islands (ca. 2 Million square Km) also feature 240 million people of quite assorted haplo-genetic families.
We have also Colombia, featuring an outstanding: 15% of world’s plants, 10% of world’s mammals, 14% of world’s amphibians and 18% of world’s birds, and due to colonialism also spot a great mix of human races covering Caucasian 30% (majority Spanish, minority French, Italian and German) Mestizo 50% (white mixed with Amerindians) Afro 3% and Mulatto 13% (white and black mixed), Amerindian 1% and Zambo 2.5%, the rest are Roma, Lebanese, Ex-URSS and other for accumulative 0.5%.
By far the family species with more “members” is the one from Insect, there are about 10 to 30 Million and of which only about 1 Million have been studied.
Natural Heritage as term carries a broader meaning respect to biodiversity, because it includes geology, landforms, and oceans, etc; more similar to Biosphere.