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

Projects

Monitoring sites

Research facilities

 

 

3D rendering of Edinburgh and surrounding area in Land Cover Map 2015
The latest land cover information for the UK
Northern Ireland in Land Cover Map 2007
Land cover information for the whole of the UK
Harlequin ladybirds of several colour variations
Colour variations and overwintering preferences of ladybirds in the UK
Fieldwork on the PEATBOG project
Peat bogs 'tougher than we thought' but may still be vulnerable to rapid or extreme environmental change
Boat in harbour
Exploring the non-monetary values of marine ecosystem services in the UK's Celtic Seas
Credit Swiss Tropical Institute courtesy of R Knechtli, Wellcome Images
CEH study among first to analyse and project impacts of policy-driven land use and climate change on continental-scale vector-borne diseases

Pages