15 October 2009 - Report to bioscience funder recommends action on niche areas of expertise

Biodiversity - what on Earth is it?

This one word describes the variety of all living things - plants, animals and microbes - and all the places where they are found. This variety provides us with our needs - food, medicine, fuel, clean air and water. But it also brings us things we don't want - superbugs that are resistant to conventional antibiotics, invading alien plants and potential new killers like bird flu.

Is all biodiversity equally important, or is something that has occurred in nature inherently more valuable? Should we worry about species extinctions, whether natural or our fault? Or should we just worry about conserving and creating variation we can use? Should we be able to create diversity for our own use, or is that unethical?


Do we understand enough about biodiversity - its challenges and opportunities?

Biodiversity - what on Earth is it? highlights contemporary biodiversity research, and demonstrates how understanding biodiversity can help us face today's challenges such as climate change and feeding a growing world population.


A joint project from BBSRC and NERC


biodiversity butterfly Biodiversity

what on earth is it?