Login — or — register

Open access

The word biodiversity is now a much more widely used term, partly due to a greater common ecological awareness. Understanding biodiversity and the importance of its preservation is, on the other hand, a lesser known theme, in all its complexity.

What is the definition of biodiversity, first of all?

The Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA — Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) says: biodiversity can be defined as the richness of life on earth: the millions of plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, the complex ecosystems they make up in the biosphere.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity defines it:

Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. / This diversity is often understood in terms of a wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. / Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species, for example between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes and DNA, the building blocks of life, determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species. / Another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those found in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with each other and with the air, water and soil around them.

Everything that involves life on our planet, from the ocean down to DNA, therefore, falls under the concept of biodiversity.

What, then, remains to be understood about biological diversity? While its essence is clearly understandable, the importance of its balance and the natural ecosystem services it provides remain topics that are not yet fully understood, especially from a global perspective.

The importance of a tree for the oxygen it produces for us or the refreshing shade we can enjoy on a sunny day, the decisive role of bees and their pollination, what water represents for life itself on the planet, are all roles of so-called natural ecosystem services that are clear to almost all people.

If, however, we begin to extend this importance as to why the loss of biodiversity is a serious detriment to our existence, to the future of our medicine, or to the climate - and the current related climate crisis - this becomes a more elusive and not immediately comprehensible topic.

Going even deeper, understanding the importance of biodiversity in itself, even when there are no direct benefits to the human species, the understanding becomes even less clear.

Understanding biodiversity then becomes a wonderful journey of life on our planet, allowing us to truly understand where we are, who we are and what we share with other species, not just animals.

It leads us to see the nature around us with a different perspective and with different eyes, to understand that the bee is important, but so are wasps and hornets, as well as other insects that we probably consider useless.

Some studies are also helping to almost completely revise the concept of individuality in favour of community, for example in forests, where the relationship between trees, bacteria and fungi is very close to the microbiota of our digestive system.

We have thus decided to start the series Understanding Biodiversity to discover together this fascinating multiverse, which will not fail to amaze and intrigue us.

This content is part of the series:

This is an Open Access content, but you can get more.

Take full advantage of the content and quality of Venipedia, contribute to creating a better future thanks to Venipedia Virtuosa. You can unsubscribe whenever you want. Subscribe to the quality of Venipedia, € 7,99 per month, or € 59 per year

Forever yours,
the Venipedian Masters


Do you want to have a taste?
You're right, better to deepen: you can do it with our Open Access contents and touch with hand, or with a full 7 days access at €1,99.

Get the best, make the future better. Actively.
Your subscription helps us to support deserving realities and contributes to creating a better future for everyone, thanks to Venipedia Virtuosa: together with us, you contribute to the constant planting of new trees in the Amazon and to the development of new carbon removal technologies.

No constraints required, you can cancel whenever you want.
Your payment system will be charged automatically, in advance. All subscriptions renew automatically. You can cancel whenever you want before the next renewal. Renewed subscriptions are non-refundable. In case of cancellation after the renewal date, you will have access for the entire active period until the next renewal date, after which you will no longer have access and no further amount will be charged. Offers and prices are subject to change without notice.