Life On Earth Essay

1950 words - 8 pages

Most people feel a responsibility to protect the earth in which they live. Everyone realizes that the earth is changing. Some people feel this is a pressing issue, while others believe it to be a cycle of life. Who is right? Is the biodiversity dwindling because of humans, or is nothing wrong with our planet at all? Biodiversity, the broad scale of ecosystems, is slowly being destroyed by the human race; is it possible to fix this problem while humans maintain their way of life?
Biodiversity is the biological diversity of life on earth. This includes varied ecosystems like forests, as well as the diversity of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, and the multifariousness of genes in these species (Shah). All species have an important function to increase the success of its ecosystem. For example, the more varieties of plants there are on the planet, the more food there is to provide for animals. The more food there is means the less animals have to fight for it, which leaves more animals living together harmoniously.
Plants are the basis of every ecosystem. Plants help their ecosystems in more ways than providing food for animals, though. Many of them are used for medicinal purposes, such as certain varieties of mint. The leaves are crushed and the aroma is used to relieve headaches (Importance of Plants). Plants help provide protective covering, not only for humans but other creatures as well. With some work birds are able to make a tree into comfortable lodging. Plants likewise protect the soil from heavy erosion from wind and water. However, plants also have another purpose: to clean and purify the air. Besides producing food, medicine, shelter, a clean environment, and many other purposes like making clothing from the fibers, plants also make ecosystems more beautiful and pleasant.
Plants are the beginning, but animals and organisms play important roles as well. There is
a vast variety all around the world in the various ecosystems. There are herbivores, animals who eat only plants or vegetables; carnivores, animals who eat meat; and omnivores, animals who eat a variety of meat and vegetables. Omnivores are a hybrid between herbivores and carnivores, sharing traits of each. If the ecosystem is not balanced, then all parts of it are in danger.
For instance, if there is a species of rabbit that eats only carrots, and humans eat carrots too, not only are carrots at a risk of extinction but so are the mountain lions that eat the rabbits. This chain goes all the way through the ecosystem to the decomposers and back to the soil. With every cause of humans, there is an effect. Daniel Janzen, a journalist for Science Magazine as well as an ecologist in tropical animal-plant interactions, discusses the footprint humans leave on the environment. He believes humans are the problem.
“Why can't the wild tropical species be left ‘out in the wild’ to fend for themselves? Because the wild is at humanity's mercy. Humanity now owns...

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