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Lesson 10 – How Biodiversity Benefits Humans

Read About How Biodiversity Benefits Humans


Can you find where all the definitions are in the text?


Organisms are living things that can grow, use nutrients, and produce young.


Biodiversity is the number and variety of living things that live in a specific area.


Resources are things that can be used to help an organism live, such as food, water, and shelter.


Diversity is having a wide variety of things that are different from each other.


Nutrients are something that provides what is needed for an organism to live, grow, and develop properly.

How Biodiversity Benefits Humans

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.


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.

Ginger was used for stomach aches and healing wounds


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 species of sheep produce enough wool for up to 5 sweaters!
Flax turns into linen

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.

Example of leaves eaten by pests

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.