The role of biodiversity

Maintain ecological balance
The role of biodiversity is mainly reflected in the construction and balance of the ecosystem. The degree of biodiversity in a healthy ecosystem must be high enough to have strong self-resistance and repair capabilities against external damage.

Biodiversity plays an important role in the stability, coordination and dynamic balance of the entire biosphere. All living things in nature are interdependent and restrict each other. Plants play an ecological role through photosynthesis, producing organic matter, transforming energy, producing oxygen, and removing carbon dioxide. They play the role of producers in the ecosystem. Animals are consumers in the ecosystem, but this kind of consumption is not passive, but through consumption and their own active activities, it provides favorable conditions for the survival and competition of plants and microorganisms, and promotes the operation and development of the entire system. For example, animals can spread seeds and pollen, loosen the soil, and promote plant growth. Microbes play a decomposing role and promote the circulation of organic matter. It is precisely because different organisms have different functions, nutritional methods, and structures. They complement each other, depend on each other, and promote each other, so that they can jointly maintain the sustainable survival and development of organisms and humans. Biodiversity is an indispensable part of the ecosystem.

Scientific experiments have proved that the richer the species in the ecosystem, the greater its creativity. The extinction of each species indicates that many species are about to die. Biodiversity also plays an important role in maintaining soil fertility, ensuring water quality, and regulating climate. The Yellow River Basin was once the cradle of the Chinese nation. Thousands of years ago, there was still a very rich land, with trees and flowers fragrant, and various wild animals appeared everywhere. However, due to long-term wars and human over-exploitation, this area has become a region with very poor biodiversity, with loess slopes everywhere, flying sand and rocks in windy weather, and serious desertification. Biodiversity plays an important role in the regulation of atmospheric composition, earth surface humidity, redox potential of surface sediments, and pH value. For example, the oxygen content in the earth’s atmosphere is now 21%, which allows us to breathe freely. This is mainly due to the photosynthesis of plants. In the early history of the earth, the oxygen content in the atmosphere was much lower. Scientists estimate that if the photosynthesis of plants is cut off, the oxygen in the atmosphere will be exhausted in thousands of years due to oxidation reactions. The monotonous landscapes, declining soil fertility, rampant pests and diseases, depletion of resources, and environmental degradation in many regions of the world are closely related to the destruction of biodiversity.

Protect human survival and development
Biodiversity is the basis for the survival and development of human society. Many aspects of our clothing, food, housing, transportation, and material and cultural life are closely related to the maintenance of biodiversity. First, biodiversity provides us with food, fiber, wood, medicinal materials and a variety of industrial raw materials. All food comes from nature, maintaining biodiversity, our food varieties will continue to be enriched. The protein of residents living in remote areas mainly comes from hunting wild animals. In Africa, meat products from wild animals account for a high proportion of human food: 20% in Nigeria, 40% in Botswana, and 75% in Zaire; in Ghana, about 75% of the population’s The protein source is animals, including various fishes, insects and snails; in some remote areas of Nigeria, the protein provided by prey to humans accounts for 20% of its total annual consumption. Once the products of biological resources are developed, they often have much higher value than their own. Common biological resources products include: wood, fish, animal fur, musk, deer antler, medicinal plants and animals, honey, rubber, resin fruits , Dyes, etc.

For example, in the western United States, a laxative product can be extracted from the bark of a kind of buckthorn, which is very popular, about 1 million US dollars per year, and the market price is as high as 75 million US dollars per year. During the period from 1976 to 1984, the United States made 87.6 billion U.S. dollars in profits per year from biological resources. For another example, about 80% of the world’s population still mainly depends on various medicinal materials obtained from plants. There are more than 2,500 species of animals and plants used as medicine in the Amazon River Basin, and more than 5,000 species of human medicine in China. Biodiversity has important scientific research value. Each species has a unique role to protect wild animal and plant resources. With as many genes as possible, it can provide more choices for the breeding of crops or poultry. For example, domestic pigs and wild boars are crossed to form a new breed of lean pigs; wild rice and rice in farmland are used to breed new varieties of rice that can increase rice yield on a large scale; Extracting anti-cancer drugs… Many wild animals and plants in nature may not be used by humans in a short time, and their value is potential. Maybe our children and grandchildren can discover their value and find ways to use them.

Some plants that have not been studied by humans may contain ingredients that fight human diseases. If these wild animals and plants become extinct, it will be a major loss for humans. Therefore, if we save one more species, we will leave a precious wealth for future generations.

The foundation of human cultural diversity
Life diversity includes not only the diversity of life forms, but also cultural diversity. Since the Industrial Revolution, humans’ influence on nature has been increasing, leading to continuous expansion of land use, rapid population growth and accelerated depletion of resources. Biodiversity, a treasure house of human survival resources, is also facing serious threats. Although the importance of biodiversity has been widely recognized and concerned, the rate of biological extinction has not been effectively slowed down. In recent years, the impact of economic and information globalization on human cultural diversity has gradually received attention. As people’s understanding of biodiversity and cultural diversity deepens, the conceptual and spatial connections between them have gradually been discovered.

More and more people believe that the joint protection of biodiversity and cultural diversity may be an effective way to slow down the rate of decline in biodiversity. As a result, biodiversity as a complete concept has attracted attention and formed a biological cultural perspective and The biocultural approach applied to management practices. Biocultural diversity refers to the complex connection between biological diversity and cultural diversity, which includes biological diversity, cultural diversity and the complex connection between the two. Biocultural diversity can be considered as the sum of the world’s differences; because of its rich connotation, it is particularly important to grasp the research object and scale when researching.

Biodiversity is the basis for the survival and development of human society. It refers to the ecological complex formed by organisms and their environment and the integration of various ecological processes related to this, including genetic (gene) diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem And landscape diversity. Cultural diversity is defined in the “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Diversity Expressions” as the various forms through which groups and societies express their culture, not only in the expression of human cultural heritage through a variety of cultural expressions The various ways of promotion and inheritance are also embodied in the various ways of art creation, production, dissemination, sales and consumption with the help of various methods and technologies. Cultural diversity is a basic feature of human society and an important driving force for the progress of human civilization. Biodiversity and cultural diversity are the basis for maintaining the health of nature and human society, and there is also an inseparable connection between the two; when the environment is impacted, they provide protection for nature and society, making nature and human society face interference The function is still maintained. In development, traditional knowledge and values ​​should be incorporated into protection policies to realize the joint protection of biological and cultural diversity. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, my country’s biological and cultural diversity research results have been abundant, but the emphasis is on ecological anthropology, ethnobotany, and ethnoecology. At present, there is more work on the relationship between the two kinds of diversity, traditional ecological knowledge, natural sanctuary, cultural landscape, etc.

Because biodiversity and cultural diversity are inextricably linked and facing common threats, biological cultural diversity has gradually been valued by researchers and managers, and has formed a biological cultural perspective and biological cultural approach.

my country is rich in species resources, topography and geomorphic environment and ethnic minority cultures, and has unique advantages in the study of biological cultural diversity. Although Chinese scholars have done distinctive work in some areas of biocultural diversity research, future research still has a long way to go. While maintaining the development of our country’s advantages and distinctive fields, it is also necessary to keep up with international hotspots and trends, and strengthen research on mechanisms and systems analysis, the environmental impact of biological and cultural diversity, and the protection and management of biological and cultural diversity. It is hoped that more consensus will be formed in the field of biological cultural diversity in China, and more in-depth research will be carried out to provide scientific and technological support for regional development and biological cultural diversity protection.