School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is short for biological diversity and refers to variety of life in all its forms, levels, and combinations including ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is all the different genes contained in all individual plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. It occurs within a species as well as between species. Species diversity is all the differences within and between populations of species, as well as between different species. Ecosystem diversity is all the different habitats, biological communities, and ecological processes, as well as variation within individual ecosystems.

Find more information on biodiversity, visit the Ecological Society of America.

Grade Level: 12

To learn more about ecosystems, try this link.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.