How Does Biodiversity Affect Ecosystem Stability? - Earth Reminder (2022)

Today, there are almost 200,000 (two hundred thousand) species of plants and 10,000 (ten thousand) species of birds along with around 1 million insect species on our planet. These are just what we know. There are probably double the number of species that we don’t know about. However, the diversity among these species is essential to maintaining our ecosystem. So, let’s see how does biodiversity affect the stability of an ecosystem.

How Does Biodiversity Affect Ecosystem Stability? - Earth Reminder (1)

Table of Contents

  • 1 What is Biodiversity?
  • 2 What Is Ecosystem Stability?
  • 3 How Does Biodiversity Affect the Stability of An Ecosystem?
    • 3.1 Providing Services to The Ecosystem:
    • 3.2 By Providing Biological Resources:
    • 3.3 Interdependence Of Species in An Ecosystem:
    • 3.4 Biodiversity Provides Resilience to An Ecosystem:
(Video) Why is biodiversity so important? - Kim Preshoff

What is Biodiversity?

We see a variety of life on Earth. From small insects to big elephants and from moss to tall pine trees, there is immensediversity on this planet. This diversity or variety amongst the biological resources of this planet is what we call ‘biodiversity’.

We don’t just see a variety in species of animals, plants, and microorganisms but also in the genes in these species. Their genes show an even bigger diversity than their appearance. Our earth is so diverse biologically anddifferent ecosystemslike rainforests, swamps, deserts, and coral reefs are all part of its diversity.

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Any attempt to preserve biodiversity has to take this into account while forming their methods. The roots of almost all cultures on our planet today, trace their origin from this very diversity of our biology. Therefore, declining biodiversity is worrying for reasons more than one.

What Is Ecosystem Stability?

Ecosystem stability is the ability of anykind of ecosystemto bounce back from damages or changes in its environment. The more stable an ecosystem is the faster it heals and bounces back. We measure the stability of an ecosystem by not just the rate of recovery but also by how much it can resist any harmful change.

Imagine a classroom or a group of people with different skills. When given any task, the chance for this group to do better is righter? It is because their varied skill sets will ensure that any kind of problem during the completion of the task can be tackled by someone in the group. Basically, they know how to handle a variety of challenges due to a variety of their skills.

(Video) Ecosystem stability

Similarly, when we think of how does biodiversity affect the stability of an ecosystem, we need to apply this analogy. Just like the group, the variety in species will make sure that any external challenge to the ecosystem does not bring the whole system down as there will be many species to take care of the problem. Since there is variety among the species, all of them won’t be vulnerable to the same kind of virus or the same kind of climatic factor. If some of them reduce in number, the other species will take care of the ecosystem.

How Does Biodiversity Affect the Stability of An Ecosystem?

The effect of biodiversity on the ecosystem is positive. It makes the ecosystem more stable and more resilient. The biodiversity of our planet is due to evolution carried on for billions of years. During this, there was a change in the traits and functions of species. They inherited these from one generation to the next.

There have beenmany extinctionsduring these years too. The cause of many of such extinction periods is not fully known but scientists have a feeling that it was due to loss of biodiversity. It is true that biodiversity does not guarantee that a particular ecosystem will remain stable. However, there is a guarantee thatloss of biodiversitywill most definitely lead to damage to ecosystem stability.

(Video) Ecosystem Stability, Critical Transitions, and Biodiversity

How Does Biodiversity Affect Ecosystem Stability? - Earth Reminder (2)

The answer to the question of how does biodiversity affect the stability of an ecosystem lies in looking at why biodiversity is important. So, let’s see the contribution of biodiversity to an ecosystem.

Providing Services to The Ecosystem:

  • Biodiversity maintains stability by protecting thewater resources: The quality of our water resources depends upon what kind of species live within it.
  • Diverse species help in keeping thequality of the soilgood. Microbes break down the nitrogen. This is called nitrogen fixation which is very important for nutrition in the soil.
  • The growth of plants depends upon theexistence of birdsand bees too. Biodiversity ensures that this is maintained and therefore leads to stability in the ecosystem.
  • The recycling of nutrients from the atmosphere to the soil and back to the atmosphere is also of vital importance for the ecosystem. Different species in the ecosystem do this.
  • The existence of biodiversity in trees and forest cover cuts down on pollution.Forests are carbon sinksbecause they absorb the excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • All of the above in turn maintain the stability of the climate that an ecosystem has.Climate changehas become one of the biggest concerns of our world today because it threatens the stability of ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity provides a vital feature to ecosystems – recovery. It allows ecosystems to recover properly and then thrive as well. Without biodiversity, ecosystems won’t be able to recover.

By Providing Biological Resources:

  • We get food resources due to biodiversity. It also protects the food chain in an ecosystem thereby preserving its stability.
  • Many resources have more than one property. So, some species of plants have medicinal properties which help in stabilizing the disease burden of those ecosystems.
  • The productivity of an ecosystem is maintained by biodiversity. Consistency in reproductive rates ensures that there is a balance.
  • Biodiversity maintains the stability of ecosystems by replenishing resources from time to time. So,for examplean even number of species spread out throughout theforest ecosystemwill help in keeping the growth of the trees stable.

Interdependence Of Species in An Ecosystem:

  • Species in any ecosystem depend on each other which makes biodiversity very important.
  • Imagine not having your family or friends around. You’ll find yourself feeling sad and alone after some time, right? The same happens with animals and other species of the ecosystem.
  • Research proves that biodiversity reduces thechances of extinctionof wild animals.
  • Often extinction happens because the habitat of a certain species is destroyed by the elimination of factors they depended on.
  • By the presence of more than one factor on which a species depends, there is a chance that even when one food source is absent; they will have something else to depend on.
  • In an ecosystem, each species depends upon some service provided by other species, and therefore it is important that biodiversity is protected.

Biodiversity Provides Resilience to An Ecosystem:

  • Climate change and global warminghave put pressure on the survival process of ecosystems. There is an increasing stress on the species to function even in their original habitat.
  • The reduction in the population of bees has started coming into focus now because it is understood now how biodiversity affects the stability of an ecosystem in a positive manner.
  • So, even in the face of climate change, biodiversity acts as a powerful tool and helps the species in their fight for survival.
  • Biodiversity provides an additional layer of resilience to ecosystems and that’s how it maintains their stability.
  • The integrity of an ecosystem needs to stay together because it is necessary for human survival. Ecosystem stability ensures that life is supported and our air is breathable andwater worth drinking.
  • Biodiversity supports our agriculture and without it, the entire ecosystem of humans will crumble down.
  • Areas with high biodiversity have more complex systems. Their food webs are more interwoven and are more productive in quality too. This increment in complexity ensures that there is more resilience too.


(Video) Human Impacts on Biodiversity | Ecology and Environment | Biology | FuseSchool

By now we have understood how biodiversity affects the stability of an ecosystem. Our world today is fragile because biodiversity is not as strong as it used to be some decades ago. Governments and scientists are trying to come up with ways to protect the biodiversity in an ecosystem under threat.

As fellow citizens, we should make ourselves aware of such initiatives and try to implement them on our local scale too. This will not just ensure that our local biodiversity is being protected but will also make us more involved in our own ecosystem.


How does biodiversity affect the ecosystem stability? ›

Greater biodiversity in ecosystems, species, and individuals leads to greater stability. For example, species with high genetic diversity and many populations that are adapted to a wide variety of conditions are more likely to be able to weather disturbances, disease, and climate change.

How does biodiversity affect the stability of an ecosystem quizlet? ›

How does biodiversity affect the stability of an ecosystem? Having a number of different organisms increases the stability of an ecosystem, because a change in the population of one organism will have less effect on the population of an organism that depends on it.

How does biodiversity affect ecosystem services? ›

Biodiversity provides us with drinking water, oxygen to breathe, food, medicine, decomposition of waste, and helps our planet withstand natural disasters.

How does the biodiversity affect the environment? ›

A diversity of species increases the ability of ecosystems to do things like hold soils together, maintain soil fertility, deliver clean water to streams and rivers, cycle nutrients, pollinate plants (including crops), and buffer against pests and diseases—these are sometimes called 'ecosystem functions' or 'ecosystem ...

How and what can affect the stability of ecosystem? ›

Factors affecting stability:

Disturbance frequency and intensity (how often and what kind of tillage) Species diversity (intercropping or rotations), interactions (competition for water and nutrients from weed species), and life history strategies (do the species grow fast and produce many seeds or slow with few seeds)

What is the stability of an ecosystem? ›

Stability (of ecosystem) refers to the capability of a natural system to apply self—regulating mechanisms so as to return to a steady state after an outside disturbance.

Which statement describes how biodiversity benefits ecosystem stability? ›

Which statement describes how biodiversity benefits ecosystem stability? Biodiversity makes ecosystems better able to maintain its functions after a change.

Why is biodiversity important to ecosystem quizlet? ›

Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. Biodiversity is important because it provides us with Natural Resources (Food, Water, Wood, etc.) Natural Services (Pest Control, Air and Water Purification, etc.) and of course, Aesthetic Pleasure.

When an ecosystem loses biodiversity How does it change Choose the correct answer? ›

Declining biodiversity lowers an ecosystem's productivity (the amount of food energy that is converted into the biomass) and lowers the quality of the ecosystem's services (which often include maintaining the soil, purifying water that runs through it, and supplying food and shade, etc.).

What are the effects of ecosystem? ›

The result is global warming, water shortage, extinction of species, etc. These impacts every living thing on the planet, which includes us. The impact of ecosystem destruction will be felt by everything eventually.

What is the role of biodiversity in ecosystem? ›

Biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth, including humans. Without a wide range of animals, plants and microorganisms, we cannot have the healthy ecosystems that we rely on to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. And people also value nature of itself.

What is biodiversity ecosystem? ›

Topics: Biodiversity — Ecosystems. Biodiversity is the name given to the variety of ecosystems (natural capital), species and genes in the world or in a particular habitat. It is essential to human wellbeing, as it delivers services that sustain our economies and societies.

Why is biodiversity important 5 Reasons? ›

Utilitarian values include the many basic needs humans obtain from biodiversity such as food, fuel, shelter, and medicine. Further, ecosystems provide crucial services such as pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, water purification, nutrient cycling, and control of agricultural pests.

What biodiversity means? ›

Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you'll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life.

Which is an example of ecosystem diversity? ›

An example of ecological diversity on a global scale would be the variation in ecosystems, such as deserts, forests, grasslands, wetlands and oceans.

How do changes in ecosystems affect ecosystem stability? ›

Altogether, our multiyear experiments suggest that there may be a universal impact of biodiversity change on ecosystem stability in response to anthropogenic environmental changes, with decreased plant species numbers leading to lower ecosystem stability regardless of the cause of biodiversity loss.

What is ecosystem stability PDF? ›

Ecosystem stability is the ability of an ecosystem to maintain a steady state (equilibrium), even after a stress or disturbance has occurred.

Why do ecosystems need to be stable? ›

All ecosystems are stable systems. This means that they maintain a natural balance. An ecosystem involves the flows of nutrients and energy (in the form of food). If the organisms Having in an ecosystem use up nutrients, like nitrogen, from their environment, without replenishing them, soon the system will collapse.

Why is it important to protect and conserve biodiversity? ›

Biodiversity supports food security and sustained livelihoods through overall genetic diversity. ​Genes regulate all biological processes on the planet and increase the ability of organisms to cope with environmental stressors.

Which of the following best describes the relationship between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem? ›

The higher the biodiversity, the greater the stability of the ecosystem. Biodiversity has nothing to do with ecosystem stability.

Which best describes the relationship between ecosystem and biodiversity? ›

Biodiversity is considered as an important factor of ecosystem. Biodiversity is essential for ecosystem diversity, ecosystem dynamics, production and ecosystem services. A healthy complete ecosystem supports multiple organisms, rendering it very rich in biodiversity.

How can we maintain biodiversity? ›

Buying fewer products and making sure the products you do buy minimise the impact on biodiversity. Investing in ways that promote biodiversity. Reducing waste of consumer goods: food, clothes, electrical appliances, etc. Recycling.

What is the difference between ecological niche and habitat? ›

A habitat is the place where an organism lives while a niche is that organism's role within that environment. Habitat focuses on how the environment impacts the organism while nich focuses on how the organism impacts the environment.

What is one biotic factor that affects the size of a population in an ecosystem quizlet? ›

For example, one biotic factor is the plants in a habitat. An abiotic factor is not caused by other organisms. An example of an abiotic factor is the temperature of a habitat, or the water supply in a habitat.

Why is biodiversity loss important? ›

Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where fresh water is in irregular or short supply.

What are the causes and impacts of loss of biodiversity? ›

Biodiversity loss is caused by five primary drivers: habitat loss, invasive species, overexploitation (extreme hunting and fishing pressure), pollution, climate change associated with global warming.

What is the example of ecosystem? ›

Examples of ecosystems are: agroecosystem, aquatic ecosystem, coral reef, desert, forest, human ecosystem, littoral zone, marine ecosystem, prairie, rainforest, savanna, steppe, taiga, tundra, urban ecosystem and others. plants, animals, soil organisms and climatic conditions.

What is importance of ecosystem? ›

As a society, we depend on healthy ecosystems to do many things; to purify the air so we can breathe properly, sequester carbon for climate regulation, cycle nutrients so we have access to clean drinking water without costly infrastructure, and pollinate our crops so we don't go hungry.

How is climate change affecting invasive species in California? ›

With a warming climate, the Sierra Nevada will see increasing pressure from invasive plants, even at high elevations. Because meadows often have water availability and lack of shade, they are particularly vulnerable to invasive plants, which can degrade habitat by replacing native plants on which wildlife depends.

Why is biodiversity important essay? ›

Biodiversity plays a major role in maintaining the balance of the earth. Furthermore, everything depends upon the biological diversity of different plants and animals. But due to some reasons, biodiversity is decreasing day by day. If it does not stop then our earth could no longer be a place to live in.

What is in the ecosystem? ›

An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life. Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as abiotic factors, or nonliving parts. Biotic factors include plants, animals, and other organisms.

What 3 factors affect the biodiversity of an ecosystem? ›

Factors that affect biodiversity in an ecosystem include area, climate, and diversity of niches.

Why is biodiversity important 10 points? ›

1) Biodiversity is the biological varieties of species and a healthy relationship between them. 2) Every species in the ecosystem has a special function without which the balance of the ecosystem may destroy. 3) Biodiversity helps in sustaining the food web in the ecosystem.

What is biodiversity one sentence? ›

Meaning: n. the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole). 1) Biodiversity was the buzzword of the Rio Earth Summit. 2) The newcomers can pose a threat to biodiversity by altering ecosystems.

How does climate change affect biodiversity? ›

Rising temperatures in the oceans affect marine organisms. Corals are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and ocean acidification can make it harder for shellfish and corals in the upper ocean to form shells and hard skeletons. We have also seen changes in occurrence of marine algae blooms.

Who discovered biodiversity? ›

Charles Darwin [2] identified the first principle of the origin of modern biodiversity, namely that all species were linked in a single great phylogeny, or tree of life, and that all could be traced back to a presumed single original species at some distant time in the geological past.

Why does high biodiversity create a stable ecosystem? ›

Ecosystems with higher biodiversity have fewer species that depend on just one other for food, shelter and maintaining their environment. With the example above, puffins could also eat molluscs and worms. Ecosystems with higher biodiversity are more stable as they can easily adjust to changes.

How is biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning? ›

Biodiversity is the variety of life forms in an ecosystem. An ecosystem that is rich in biodiversity stabilizes the net productivity and makes the ecosystem more resistant to exotic species. It maintains the ecosystem by maintaining the food chain.


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