`star` Questions about Biodiversity
`star` Levels of Biodiversity
`star` Genetic Diversity
`star` Species Diversity
`star` Ecological Diversity


● If an alien from a distant `color{violet}("galaxy")` were to visit our `color{violet}("planet Earth")`, the first thing that would amaze and baffle him would most probably be the `color{violet}("enormous diversity")` of life that he would encounter.

● Even for humans, the rich variety of `color{violet}("living organisms")` with which they share this planet never ceases to `color{violet}("astonish")` and `color{violet}("fascinate")` us.

● The common man would find it hard to believe that there are more than `color{violet}("20,000")` species of `color{violet}("ants,")` `color{violet}("3,00,000")` species of `color{violet}("beetles,")` `color{violet}("28,000")` species of `color{violet}("fishes")` and nearly `color{violet}("20,000")` species of `color{violet}("orchids.")`

● `color{violet}("Ecologists")` and `color{violet}("evolutionary biologists")` have been trying to understand the significance of such diversity by asking important questions –

`color{green}("Why are there so many species?")`

`color{green}("Did such great diversity exist throughout earth’s history?")`

`color{green}("How did this diversification come about?")`

`color{green}("How and why is this diversity important to the biosphere?")`

`color{green}("Would it function any differently if the diversity was much less?")`

`color{green}("How do humans benefit from the diversity of life?")`


● In our biosphere immense `color{violet}("diversity (or heterogeneity)")` exists not only at the species level but at all levels of
`color{violet}("biological organisation")` ranging from macromolecules within cells to `color{violet}("biomes.")`

● `color{violet}("Biodiversity")` is the term popularized by the `color{violet}("socio biologist Edward Wilson")` to describe the `color{violet}("combined diversity")` at all the levels of `color{violet}("biological organisation.")`

● The most important of them are–

`star` `color{brown}("Genetic diversity")`

`star` `color{brown}("Species Diversity")`

`star` `color{brown}("Ecological Diversity")`


● A single species might show `color{violet}("high diversity")` at the `color{violet}("genetic level")` over its distributional range.

● The `color{violet}("genetic variation")` shown by the medicinal plant `color{violet}("𝘙𝘢𝘶𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧𝘪𝘢 𝘷𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘢")` growing in `color{violet}("different Himalayan ranges")` might be in terms of the `color{violet}("potency")` and `color{violet}("concentration")` of the active chemical (reserpine) that the plant produces.

● India has more than `color{violet}("50,000 genetically")` different strains of `color{violet}("rice")`, and `color{violet}("1,000 varieties")` of `color{violet}("mango.")`


● The `color{violet}("diversity")` at the species level.

● For example, the `color{violet}("Western Ghats")` have a `color{violet}("greater amphibian")` species `color{violet}("diversity")` than the `color{violet}("Eastern Ghats.")`


● At the `color{violet}("ecosystem")` level, India, for instance, with its deserts, rain forests, mangroves, coral reefs, wetlands,
estuaries, and alpine meadows has a `color{violet}("greater ecosystem diversity")` than a `color{violet}("Scandinavian country")` like `color{violet}("Norway.")`

● It has taken millions of years of `color{violet}("evolution")`, to accumulate this `color{violet}("rich diversity")` in nature, but we could lose all that wealth in less than two centuries if the present rates of species losses continue.

● `color{violet}("Biodiversity")` and its conservation are now vital environmental issues of international concern as more and more people around the world begin to realise the critical importance of `color{violet}("biodiversity")` for our `color{violet}("survival")` and well- being on this `color{violet}("planet.")`