What is biodiversity for me? Biodiversity is the number of species, the number of variations within a species and the continuous results of evolution through natural selection; resulting in a myriad of unique species that are ever changing in time and space. Total natural diversity and richness is clearly underestimated by us humans. We live hectic life’s and barely stop to watch something as common, but beautiful, as a dandelion blooming in a small crack. And few people even think of the biodiversity that they harbour within their own bodies – which can be as diverse in bacteria and fungi as a flower bed, or maybe even higher…
You might think that a blue whale, with an adult heart as the size of a small car, is the biggest organism living in the world, it is after all the largest animal who has ever lived. However, if you compare a blue whale to a honey mushroom found in Oregon (USA), it is “tiny”, as one individual mushroom has been found to cover more than 8.8 km2. That specific species is also estimated to be about 8.650 years old! From the biggest to the smallest; scientists have found a bacteria so small that you could carry about 150.000 of them on one of your hair tips.
Biodiversity clearly comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and life in some forms can be found in almost every habitat on earth. Biodiversity is important for so many reasons, and all species has their own right to life, being the current end products after several billions of years of evolution! (it’s about 3,8 billion years ago since we think life started). As of now, diversity in ecosystems, species, wild populations and genetic variations are decreasing in an alarming, non-natural speed.
And where it only takes a few minutes of curiosity and admiration to appreciate and grasp the impossible blooming of a dandelion in a small crack, of a butterfly with its colorful wings in the window, of a magpie with a stick in its beak on your way to work; we need to take those minutes in our daily life – and we will be richer for it!