see Coleoptera

Nigel E. Stork

Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management at James Cook University, Australia

Biodiversity is a term created in the mid-1980s to represent the variety of life. It is a contraction of "biological diversity" and came into common usage following the signing in 1992 of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro. The convention defines biodiversity as "the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are a part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems."

However, biodiversity encompasses not just hierarchies of taxonomic and ecological scale but also other scales such as temporal and geographical scales and scaling in the body size of organisms. Biodiversity represents different things to different people. To those working in museums and herbaria it perhaps represents a new thrust for efforts to describe Earth's fauna and flora. To ecologists it may represent a growing concern about the balance of nature and how well ecosystems can function as biological diversity decreases. To economists and politicians it may represent a new and largely untapped source of needed income for developing nations.

To entomologists biodiversity is insects because more than half of all described species on Earth are insects.

Biodiversity is crucial to the planet's survival because as a result of it people have food, construction material, raw material for industry, and medicine, as well as the basis for all improvements to domesticated plants and animals. Biodiversity helps maintain ecosystem functions and evolutionary processes, and stores and cycles nutrients essential for life, such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Biodiversity absorbs and breaks down pollutants, including organic wastes, pesticides, and heavy metals. It also recharges groundwater, protects catchments, and buffers extreme water conditions.

The "ownership" of biodiversity and who should pay for its conservation are emotive subjects particularly in developing countries. These and other issues that relate to the sustainable utilization of biological and nonbiological resources and the maintenance of well-nurtured populations of humans throughout the world, are extremely complex.

Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping

Make money with honey How to be a Beekeeper. Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby or you can turn it into a lucrative business. The choice is yours. You need to know some basics to help you get started. The equipment needed to be a beekeeper. Where can you find the equipment you need? The best location for the hives. You can't just put bees in any spot. What needs to be considered when picking the location for your bees?

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