How Does Biodiversity Benefit Human Health?
What is biodiversity, and how can it affect us? Humans are one of the most diverse species on earth. We are adapted to live in many different environments, from the arid deserts of Africa to the tropical rainforests of South America. We also face multiple threats from various diseases, from smallpox to cancer. We face risks from habitat loss and degradation, from pollution to stress from extreme weather conditions. We need to understand and appreciate all that we have at our disposal, and the ways in which biodiversity can help us do so.
We know that biodiversity impacts us all. One of the most profound effects is on disease. Many types of the disease affect humans, as do some natural killer pathogens. Fewer viruses affect other species, but overall, biodiversity helps prevent and treat disease. It also helps protect wildlife and their habitats, and may even reduce the spread of some forms of cancer.
How does this impact us? The number of new cases of some forms of cancer are increasing. Some researchers now believe that biodiversity is the greatest single factor behind the rise in throat cancer in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Perhaps, it is the species of people who travel more, or the species of crops that are grown with greater care and at greater distances from wild areas. No matter how you look at it, if biodiversity is going to benefit us, it must be both directly and indirectly.
It’s important to think about how biodiversity benefits us. For one thing, it reduces the risk of infectious diseases. Viruses thrive in places with high levels of diversity. Similarly, some cancers are helped by an enriched soil, which can be a result of biodiversity in the area. It has been shown that the presence of a variety of plant species and animal species can offset the harmful effects of pesticides, chemicals, and other pollutants. Studies have shown that the presence of birds can decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infection, as well as reducing energy costs.
The second way how does biodiversity benefit human health? When a species is threatened, it will stop reproducing. This means that there are no more reproductive opportunities for that species. In turn, when that species does reproduce, there are offspring that will be less healthy than those of the original species. In many situations this can mean that the species will become extinct.
There have been studies showing that biodiversity can benefit human health by reducing the chances of human illnesses caused by contaminated water, earthquake risks, and contaminated land. It has been shown that the quality of the soil where the species grows can play a major role in the species’ survival. It may also play a role in regulating the amounts of pesticides that are used on the land. In some areas, farmers are turning to biodiversity-sourced fertilizer. These practices, combined with improved farming techniques, have helped to conserve the species of many areas.
How does biodiversity benefit the environment? Biodiversity occurs naturally but has been affected by human activities. For example, many birds die when they are mowed. This is because pesticides used on crops have become so prevalent that the birds have difficulty finding food. Similarly, pollution can kill off plant and animal species, or greatly change the world’s temperature, which affects biodiversity.
There are a variety of benefits of biodiversity, especially to people who live in rural areas. In these places, species diversity is part of the landscape, rather than being seen as a threat to the existence of humans. Moreover, biological control methods have been developed to help stop the spread of disease. However, the most immediate benefits of biodiversity are the reduction of the species that are threatened with extinction and the preservation of their habitats.