Causes of Biodiversity Loss
Biodiversity is the variety of life forms on Earth.
Biological Diversity is under major threat, due to natural calamities and due to human activities.
Natural Calamities such as floods, forest fires and droughts are some of the main natural causes for loss of biodiversity.
Human activities such as selective forestry and intensive cultivation are responsible for the loss of biodiversity.
There are four major causes of loss of biodiversity.
Let’s see in details about the four causes of loss of biodiversity
Overexploitation and Improper Resource Management is one of the major cause.
Habitat Destruction or Fragmentation is the next cause for the loss of biodiversity.
Alien Species Invasion and Co-extinctions are the other two causes.
Let’s look at Habitat Destruction/ Fragmentation
With the increasing human population, a number of forests are being cleared for housing.
The main methods used by humans to clear forests include using slash and burn technique, ploughing grasslands, etc.
A large forested area is divided into different parts such as croplands and other such sections, it is called Fragmentation.
This destruction of habitats creates a disruption in the life of wild animals.
Now let’s see about Overexploitation and Improper Resource Management
Overexploitation means unscrupulous cutting down of trees.
It also means hunting of particular species of wild animals for a variety of uses.
This overexploitation might also lead to complete extinction or disappearance of certain animal and plant species.
For example, mammals such as mammoths from North America disappeared.
This was due to excessive hunting during the Stone Age.
Now let’s look at Alien Species Invasion
Alien or Exotic species are those species that are accidentally or purposely introduced to a particular geographical ecosystem.
Gradual suppression of the original species takes place over time.
For example, the introduction of plant species like Water Hyacinth have clogged lakes, rivers and streams, causing a threat to the marine species.
Now let’s look at Co-extinction
Co-extinction is said to occur when the extinction of one species causes the extinction of another species that it is associated with.
These species might be associated through a parasitic or a mutualistic relationship.
Let’s see some of the consequences of loss of biodiversity
One of the main consequences of biodiversity loss is the extinction of species.
Another consequence is declined plant productivity.
Some other consequences are lowered resistance to environmental disturbances, and much more.
Loss of Biodiversity is due to natural calamities and human activities.
The four main causes of loss of biodiversity are habitat destruction, overexploitation of resources, invasion by alien species and coextinction.
The major results of biodiversity loss are Extinction, drop in plant productivity, reduced resistance to environmental problems etc.