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Climate-ABC: Biodiversity

The term encompasses three levels that are interdependent and are therefore summarized under the term biodiversity: genetic diversity, species diversity (interspecific diversity), and the diversity of ecosystems and their processes(1).

In the Anthropocene, biodiversity is strongly influenced by humans. At the same time, humans are dependent on it in many ways. Anthropogenic changes, i.e. changes caused by humanity, cause a mass extinction of many plant and animal species. In particular, the transformation of land into agricultural or urban development areas, the keeping of farm animals on land and in water (especially non-native ones) as well as human-made climate change pose an immense threat to biodiversity. Resilience researcher Johan Rockström and his colleagues estimate that up to 30% of all mammals, birds and amphibians are threatened with extinction this century(2).
The loss of biodiversity is strongly linked to other ecological crises, such as global warming or pollution of the atmosphere or changes in vital biochemical cycles. Besides the extinction of many species, the loss of biodiversity also leads to an increase in diseases and parasites.
You can find more on this topic in the next guest article by biology student Tine Jordan.

1 (Niekisch and Wittig 2014)
2 (Rockström 2009)