An ecosystem can be defined as a distinct system made up of different organisms living together and interacting with each other. Ecosystem diversity can mean two things. Let us take each one of them in turn.
Firstly, ecosystem can refer to the fact that there are several diverse types of ecosystem out there in the world. For example, there are desert ecosystems and marine ecosystems, forest ecosystems and pond ecosystems, to name but a few.
Secondly, ecosystem diversity can refer to diversity within an ecosystem: i.e. the many different animals, plants and other life forms that make up an ecosystem.
Ecosystem diversity is very important because all life forms on earth depend on each other. An ecosystem can only truly thrive if all life forms in it are thriving.
So, an example of ecosystem diversity might be:
- The fact that in the world there are deserts, seas, ponds and forests, all of them with animals living in them.
- The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, fish, birds and so on all living together.
And ecosystem diversity is important because:
- It keeps the planet healthy.
- All life forms depend on each other.
- All ecosystems need to thrive.