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

Why does biodiversity matter?

The extinction of certain species could lead directly to the loss of additional plants, animals or microbes in a habitat. We need to understand how biodiversity works in order to predict what effect loss of species will have.

Do we really need bees?

Yes! Bees pollinate plants and flowers ensuring that they provide nutrition for other animals. This creates a large web of interdependency. And they make our honey.

Do we really need elephants?

Yes! They open up areas of forest where light-dependent plants can take hold. They create a habitat for grazing animals. Pathways cleared by elephants act as fire breaks or drainage and are littered with seeds conveniently fertilised by elephant dung. The wells elephants dig in search of water are used by virtually all other wildlife in the region.

Do we really need ants?

Yes! Ants are probably the world’s most
successful insects: there may be as many as 200 ants for every square metre of land on this planet. Many plants and animals have evolved to coexist with them. The loss of ants would change many ecosystems. For example, without ants the blue butterfly would soon die out.

biodiversity butterfly Biodiversity

what on earth is it?