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Topic – How Biodiversity Benefits Humans

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Read the Following Selection

Read about biodiversity, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

How Biodiversity Benefits Humans

Some species of sheep produce enough wool for up to 5 sweaters!

We get many things from other organisms. We get wood to build homes and get foods such as corn. Having many types of organisms gives us many resources.

Medicine

Humans have used plants as medicine throughout history. In ancient India, ginger was used for many things, including healing wounds and for stomach aches. The Gitxsan peoples of British Columbia had many uses for a plant called Devil’s club. The inner bark was used to heal wounds.

Plants are the starting point for many of the medicines today. The bark of the willow tree helps stop pain. An antibiotic comes from mould. The Pacific yew tree is the source of a cancer drug.

Clothes

Some cloth comes from plants. Flax turns into linen and cotton comes from cotton plants. Other fabrics come from animals. Silkworms make cocoons that we turn into silk. Wool comes from sheep, and leather comes from cows.

Some types of flowers will survive the pest that is eating the leaves.

What Happens When There Is Less Diversity?

Less diversity can have a bad result. If there is only one type of corn, for example, bad weather could mean no corn grows. A single type of disease or pest could destroy the whole crop. But if there are many types of corn, some types could survive.

Growing only one type of plant takes out of the soil all the nutrients that plant needs. The soil  then needs a lot of chemical fertilizer to grow more plants.


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