Environment and Ecology

Endangered Plants and Animals

What is biodiversity, and how is it measured?

Biodiversity or biological diversity refers to the breadth of species represented within ecosystems, or even on Earth as a whole. Biodiversity may be defined at three levels: Genetic diversity refers to the variety of genes found within a population or between populations of the same species; species diversity, which may also be described as species richness—how many different species are there within a habitat; and ecosystem diversity, which is an attempt to keep track of the loss of different types of habitats. This, in turn, gives scientists a sense of what types of species are going extinct at any given time.


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