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How Does Biodiversity Loss Impact the Environment?

How does biodiversity loss affect the environment? The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals state that we must protect ecosystems and conserve species to meet the world’s goals. Specifically, biodiversity includes tiny genes, bacteria, plants, and ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest and Great Barrier Reef. When these habitats are threatened or destroyed, the entire ecosystem suffers. This has an effect on 35 of 44 of the UN’s goals for sustainable development.

The destruction of natural habitats is one of the primary causes of biodiversity loss. The loss of these habitats reduces ecosystems’ ability to maintain fertility, provide clean water, cycle nutrients, and pollinate plants. It also reduces agricultural productivity and affects the quality of water delivered to human populations. While the loss of a single species can have a direct impact on ecosystems, the damage to an entire ecosystem is cumulative.

Reduced biodiversity affects ecosystems in similar ways to air pollution and global warming. The National Science Foundation has directly funded the research through the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). Some people may believe that the effects of biodiversity loss are minor and don’t have any measurable impact on the environment. However, scientists have consistently found that more diverse ecosystems are more productive. A recent study at Western Washington University shows that ecosystems with a higher biodiversity are more productive and healthier.

Biodiversity is the lifeblood of the planet. The loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to sustain human life and promote economic sustainability. Loss of biodiversity also reduces the resilience of ecosystems to climate change. Loss of ecosystems results in significant direct and indirect impacts on human health. Moreover, human livelihoods and income are affected by the changes in ecosystem products and services, and local and global conflicts can result.

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