BIODIVERSITY: Lesson 3 Introduction
WHAT IS NATURE?
..AND WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT
Welcome to the third lesson of our What Is Nature? series—Biodiversity.
In this lesson, we are going to learn about one of Earth’s four vital subsystems, known as the ‘biosphere’, which is all the living (biotic) things contained within it, as well as the non-living (abiotic). The biosphere of the earth has three subsystems; atmosphere (air), lithosphere (land), and the hydrosphere (water). Activities in the biosphere influence the chemical composition and natural processes of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. A quick example is:
Plants take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, nutrients from the lithosphere, and water from the hydrosphere as a part of photosynthesis so they can create their own energy source. Plants release oxygen back into the atmosphere, which supports all living creatures, and water vapor which helps form clouds that reflect solar radiation. This process also stores carbon in the soil as well as within the plants themselves.
You may not know it, but biodiversity is the fabric of life! It is interwoven into every part of human life and supports the ability of human life to thrive on Earth. Without biodiversity, human life as we know it would not be able to exist.
In this lesson, we will learn about:
- Earth’s Living Organisms and Their Roles
- Genetic Diversity
- Species Diversity
- Ecosystem Diversity
- Ecosystem/Biodiversity Hotspots
- How Biodiversity Supports the Planet and Us
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