The fascinating origin of biodiversity on Earth
In order to understand how we have come to live as we do today, and why we must protect the different life forms of our planet, it is essential to go back to the origin of biodiversity on Earth.
Do we know what biodiversity is exactly?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -UNESCO- defines biodiversity or biological diversity as > the variety of life forms on Earth . This concept, according to this organism, includes "all living things with their particular genetic structure and ranges from microscopic viruses to the largest animals on the planet."
"Without biodiversity, humanity does not has a future "- David Macdonald, professor at the University of Oxford.
This term, coined in 1985, encompasses all the species that inhabit our planet, and is composed of different levels , which range from genetic material to species, communities and even entire ecosystems, such as coral reefs or forests.
From a more philosophical point of view, biodiversity can also understand all the knowledge accumulated by the species after millions of years of evolution in the changing surface of to Earth.
The origin of biodiversity on Earth according to the University of Bristol
Thanks to a new study carried out by the University of Bristol, we can determine the conditions that led to the origin of biodiversity on Earth . Published in September 2018, it is one of the latest discoveries in the field of environmental sciences.
The scientists at the University of Bristol started from the basis that animals evolved from beings alive unicellular and diversified into different anatomical models. The question that arose when planning this study was the following: did these designs follow an evolution similar to that proposed by Darwin or did they occur in an explosion of life that took place during the Cambrian Period?
Professor Philip Donoghue, one of those involved in the study, assures that terrestrial biodiversity is not limited to mere 'explosions of evolutionary experimentation' punctual in time. However, the reality is far from the slow and gradual evolutionary model proposed by Darwin , since the outbreaks of biological diversity seem to be compressed in different episodes of terrestrial history, like the one that took place after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Another of the findings of the study allows us to conclude that the anatomical differences of the different groups of living beings on Earth is due to the extinction of their ancestors. Therefore, the observable differences between living beings are due to their history rather than to isolated bodily changes.
The gradual destruction of our biological diversity
Unraveling the conditions that gave rise to the origin of biodiversity on Earth allow us to foresee what will happen to the world we know today in the next thousands of years. The performance of the human population, however, is drastically altering the predictions of experts on the subject.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian , only in 2016 a whopping 30 million hectares of forest were lost globally, that is, the entire surface area of Ireland and the British Isles.Although, little by little, sustainable development initiatives are beginning to emerge, they are no exception to a rule that threatens to end everyone's home.