Why Are Ecosystems Important?

Why Are Ecosystems Important?– We rely on ants to survive, yet they don’t rely on humans in the least.

Prof. E. O Wilson, in How Our Health Depends on Biodiversity. Chivian and A. Bernstein, Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, 2010.The scientific word for the variety of life on Earth is biological diversity, or biodiversity. It encompasses not just species but also habitats and genetic diversity within a single species. Species coexist and rely on one another everywhere on the earth. Every living organism, including humans, is a part of ecosystems, which are intricate networks of interconnected interactions.

Ecosystems that are healthy clean our water, filter our air, maintain our soil, manage the temperature, recycle nutrients, and feed us. They supply raw materials and resources for pharmaceuticals and other uses. They are the bedrock of all civilizations and the lifeblood of our economy. It’s that simple: these “ecosystem services” are essential to our survival. Our natural capital is what we refer to them as. Biodiversity is a critical measure of an ecosystem’s health.

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Threats will be handled better by a diverse range of species rather than a small number of them in huge populations. Even if certain species are harmed by pollution, climate change, or human activity, the ecosystem as a whole may be able to adapt and survive. However, the extinction of a species can have unintended consequences, potentially leading to the extinction of entire ecosystems.

Biodiversity is a critical measure of an ecosystem’s health. Threats will be handled better by a diverse range of species rather than a small number of them in huge populations. Even if certain species are harmed by pollution, climate change, or human activity, the ecosystem as a whole may be able to adapt and survive. However, the extinction of a species can have unintended consequences, potentially leading to the extinction of entire ecosystems.

Although European variety is unparalleled, biodiversity loss has accelerated to unprecedented levels in Europe and throughout the world. The present global extinction rate is predicted to be 100 to 1000 times greater than the natural rate. In Europe, 42 percent of European animals, 15 percent of birds, and 45 percent of butterflies and reptiles are threatened. The Arctic fox, the Iberian lynx, and the red squirrel, to name a few, are all endangered species. By 2020, we intend to put an end to biodiversity loss in the EU.

Learn how the EU’s biodiversity plan may help. It makes financial sense to combat biodiversity loss. The Economics of Biodiversity explains why. Nature and biodiversity are essential to our health and happiness. More information may be found in the research report on Nature’s Health and Social Benefits (executive summary, annex 1 and annex 2, 3, and 4) or in our factsheet on Looking to Nature for a Healthier Europe. For a long time, we have been dedicated to the preservation of biodiversity. Learn more about the EU Biodiversity Policy’s history and context.

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