Healthy Biodiversity: Taking Care of the Environment and Our Health
Biodiversity is an important element in the natural world: it maintains ecosystem function by preserving species dominance and protects species health by ensuring genetic diversity. Biodiversity also acts as a buffer to many diseases—a genetically diverse population is much more likely to withstand outbreaks, while weak genetic diversity within wildlife can lead to an increase of epidemics and poor public health.1 Other services biodiversity provides include the filtering of toxic substances from the air, water, and soil, the breaking down of wastes, the recycling of nutrients, and the production of medicines that are derived from plants, animals, and microbes.2 Although many have expressed concern about the continuing loss of biodiversity, little attention has been given to its effects on human health.
A very well written piece by Samah Rizvi, a first-year graduate student at the University of Chicago.
Related video: how human health depend on biodiversity