The Importance of Biodiversity in Nature
Biological diversity or biodiversity refers to the different number of species of plants and animals in an environment. There has been a lot of talk about habitat loss in the news. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to biodiversity. The second greatest threat to biodiversity is invasive species. A healthy ecosystem needs to have biodiversity. Every living thing is involved in the complex network of interdependent relationships that make up an ecosystem. Invasive species have the capability to change an entire ecosystem. A basic generalization of ecosystems in the Boundary could be aquatic, forest, grassland, and mountain ecosystems. There are hundreds of variations in each ecosystem. A small area can have several different types of ecosystems. There will be different microclimates in the area, different microbes and fungus in the soil, different elevation, varying amounts of sunlight. There are so many variables that determine the type of ecosystem. A monoculture is a single species growing in an area. Examples of monocultures are a well manicured lawn, a field of hoary alyssum or a hillside of common bugloss. An invasive plant like bohemian knotweed has the capacity to out-compete native plants and create a dense stand which limits species diversity, increase risks of soil erosion and flooding, can block access to steams and lakes, can affect water quality, limit fishing opportunities, and destroy infrastructure. To be a good steward of this rare and beautiful planet we must do what we can to protect the biodiversity in our ecosystems. Preventing the spread of invasive species is one way each of us can be a good steward. Staying on existing roads and trails, burning local firewood, controlling invasive plants on your property, planting native plants in your yard, don’t let your pets loose, don’t dump your aquarium into water bodies, don’t dump yard waste in the bush, clean your shoes and gear before and after going hiking, after being out on or in the water be sure to clean, drain and dry your watercraft, waders, and gear. For more information on invasive species and how to protect the diverse ecosystems in the Boundary go to www.boundaryinvasives.com, 250-446-2232, firstname.lastname@example.org and Boundary Invasive Species Society on Facebook.