Figure. A simplified model of phosphorus cycling in a terrestrial ecosystem
• The narrowly utilitarian arguments for conservingbiodiversity are the direct economic benefits from nature like food(cereals, pulses, fruits), firewood, fibre, construction material, industrial products (tannins, lubricants, dyes, resins, perfumes ) and products of medicinal importance.
• The broadly utilitarian argument is obvious since 20% of the total oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere through photosynthesis by the rich biodiversity of the Amazon forest.Bees, bumblebees, birds and bats helpto provide fruits or seeds by pollination. Aesthetic pleasures such as watching spring flowers in full bloom or waking up to a bulbul’s song in the morning and walking through thick wood are provided by nature.
• The ethical argumentincludes, what we share in biodiversity with millions of plant, animal and microbe species. Every species has an intrinsic value, even if it may not be of current or any economic value to us. We also have a moral duty to care about their well-being and pass on our biological legacy in good order to future generations.
(b) As ‘biodiversity hotspots’ regions have very high levels ofspecies richness and a high degree of endemism. Hence they identified certain areas as hotspots, a step towards biodiversity conservation.
Two hotspots in India are Western Ghats and Himalayas.
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