Biodiversity, though there is no universal definition, usually refers to all the life on Earth. This includes everything from microorganisms to plants to the mighty humpback whale. Conservationists and managers often use a more specific definition, including the genetic and ecosystem diversity which allows habitats to survive sudden changes.
Biodiversity provides us with our food, fibres, rubbers, oils and many of our drugs and medicines. It regulates the atmosphere, churns out our water and produces fertile soils. On a less quantifiable level, natural spaces are also important for mental health.
Biodiversity is under threat, with some estimates saying that 8 species a day are dying out. There are many reasons for this, but some of the biggest threats are habitat fragmentation and loss, climate change, pollution, invasive species and over-exploitation. Unless we address these threats, the planet may soon experience a species decline equal to the loss of the dinosaurs.
CEH work on biodiversity
- Transfer – Exposure – Effects (TREE)
- Coordination and implementation of a pan-Europe instrument for radioecology
- The Radioecology Exchange
- The impacts of neonicotinoids on honeybees
- Linking life histories: winter distribution of seabirds
- Impacts of renewables on seabirds
- Isle of May Long-Term Study
- Shifting seasons, climate change & ecosystem consequences
- Finding a long-term strategy for tree health
- ROBIN – Role of Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation
- Whim Bog: long-term experimental site
- Invereshie and Inshriach NNR, Cairngorms
- Experimental sites for upland monitoring and soil research