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  • (or biological diversity): In general, the variety and variation among plants, animals, and microorganisms, and among their ecosystems. It has 3 levels: ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic (within species) diversity. The concept of maintaining biodiversity holds that civilization should preserve the greatest possible number of existing species so that a highly diverse genetic pool, which can be tapped for useful and beneficial characteristics, will be available into the future. Genetic diversity provides resources for genetic resistance to pests and diseases. In agriculture, biodiversity is a production system characterized by the presence of multiple plant and/or animal species, as contrasted with the genetic specialization of monoculture.
  • The wide diversity and interrelatedness of earth organisms based on genetic and environmental factors.
  • Refers to the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their relative frequencies. For biological diversity, these items are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the biochemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses different ecosystems, species, and genes.
    Source: Terms of the Environment

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