Biodiversity & Human Well-being

May 27th, 2016
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SUNY College of Agriculture & Technology at Morrisville
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Biodiversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being, for instance by providing raw materials and contributing to health.

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Biodiversity & Human Well-beingContext - Biodiversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being, for instance byproviding raw materials and contributing to health.The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment shows that human actions often lead to irreversiblelosses in terms of diversity of life on Earth and these losses have been more rapid in the past 50years than ever before in human history.What factors are responsible for this rapid loss? What would need to be done to significantlyslow this trend?1. Biodiversity: What is it, where is it, and why is it important?1.1 Biodiversity reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms. It includesdiversity within species, between species, and among ecosystems. The concept also covers howthis diversity changes from one location to another and over time. Indicators such as the numberof species in a given area can help in monitoring certain aspects of biodiversity.1.2 Biodiversity is everywhere, both on land and in water. It includes all organisms, frommicroscopic bacteria to more complex plants and animals. Current inventories of species, thoughuseful, remain incomplete and insufficient for providing an accurate picture of the extent anddistribution of all components of biodiversity. Based on present knowledge of how biodiversitychanges over time, rough estimates can be made of the rates at which species become extinct.1.3 Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Biodiversit

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