Class 12 Biology Biodiversity and Conservation The importance of species diversity to the ecosystem

The importance of species diversity to the ecosystem

  • Communities with more species, generally, tend to be more stable than those with less species.
  • A stable community should not show too much variation in productivity from year to year.
  • David Tilman found that plots with more species showed less year-to-year variation in total biomass and increased diversity contributed to higher productivity.
  • According to the rivet popper hypothesis, in an airplane (ecosystem) all parts are joined together using thousands of rivets (species).
  • If every passenger travelling in airplane starts popping a rivet to take home (causing a species to become extinct), it may not affect flight safety (proper functioning of the ecosystem) initially, but as more and more rivets are removed, the plane becomes dangerously weak over a period of time.
  • Loss of rivets on the wings is more serious threat to flight safety than loss of a few rivets on the seats or windows inside the plane.


Fig. a stable community

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