Section: Realm of Ecology | Go back
biodiversity supports human life and society. We depend on other
organisms, at least to some degree, for virtually every element
of our lives. Our food, our medicines, chemicals, a variety of building
materials, and much of our clothing derive from living things. Even
fossil fuels such as coal and oil, which supply most of the world's
power, are formed from organisms that lived millions of years ago.
About 90 percent of all the calories that people consume are supplied
by only about 100 kinds of plants, though there are tens of thousands
of kinds of plants we might use as food. As the human population
continues to grow, and as agricultural land becomes increasingly
limited, the few species of plants that supply our food may no longer
be sufficient. Soon people may need to look to other species to
find food crops for the future. But by then, biodiversity may have
diminished beyond hope.
Section: Realm of Ecology | Go back to: