The Ultimate Biodiversity Guide
Biodiversity or biological diversity is a word that covers the vast variety and levels of life on Earth. This includes something as small as our genes to our habitat. Even within species and ecosystems, there is diversity. For instance, when speaking of ecosystems, we would find; prairies, deserts, forests, wetlands and reefs, all within a category, but split because of their diversity. All these different levels of life work together and ultimately provide goods and services to all living things. We as humans depend on biodiversity for our health, environment and economies. All of the living organisms on the Earth, all varieties of plants, animals, ecosystems and even tiny microorganisms that contribute to our well being.
In many areas of the world biodiversity is threatened. This loss has become a widespread issue globally. Water purification, the cleanliness of the air we breathe, deforestation, insecticides, and water pollution are all some of the things that threaten the biodiversity of our planet and is attributed directly to human activity. Extinction is often the result of these environmental losses and that can throw the entire ecosystem of an area off balance. Recent predictions state that at this rate we could lose twenty percent of different living species in just ten years (2020). Leaders stress that there are successful strategies that can be used by both business and residential communities to implement biodiversity conservation programs.
When people understand how important biodiversity is and how much it affects us on a day-to-day basis, they will want to preserve it. The world depends on it and there are resource-based industries depending heavily on biodiversity as well, such as fisheries and eco-tourism. Almost half of our medications are created using compounds extracted from plants, microorganisms and animals. Much of our food supply is also dependant on it. Biodiversity means a larger number of plant species, which means a larger variety of crops and a natural way to maintain sustainable plant life for all creatures. An ecosystem that is healthy is able to stand and recover when a natural disaster strikes.
United Nations Environment Programme: United Nations biodiversity pages.
Biodiversity from Stanford University: Comprehensive background information on biodiversity.
Biomare: Page on long term marine and biodiversity research in Europe.
Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum: A complete database of biological information that covers Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and the Australian countried bordering these regions.
Washington Biodiversity Project: Useful resources for biodiversity for Washington and the nation.
Botany Department at the Smithsonian: Information and resources from the National Museum of Natural History.
Botanical Society of America: A not for profit organization that promotes botany.
Virtual Library of Botany: Collection of botanical resources from the University of Oklahoma.
Botany from the NBII: Collection of information from the National Biological Information Infrastructure.
Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: Botanical resources for identifying plant species and growing plants.
University of Kansas Biodiversity Research Center: Fifth largest collection of amphibians and reptiles.
Center for North American Herpetology: Large collection of resources on amphibians, crocodilians, reptiles, and turtles.
Herpnet: A new tool for the study and conservation of biodiversity.
Center for Biodiversity and Conservation: A collection of publications and pdf's for amphibians and reptiles of Southeast Asia.
Florida Museum of Natural History: Division of herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Canterbury Environmental Education Centre: Explore invertebrates page.
Bug Wise: Invertebrate biodiversity – All about invertebrates.
New Mexico Biodiversity Collections Consortium: Introduction and charts to species richness.
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology: Photo and text collection of invertebrates.
American Museum of Natural History: A visual celebration of invertebrate biodiversity.
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences: The Frost Entomological Museum.
University of California,Davis: Department of Entomology information and resources.
Ecological Entomology: A collection of pdf's from the journal of ecological entomology.
Systematic Entomology Laboratory: Information and resources from USDA.
Beaty Museum: The Spencer Entomological collection.
California Academy of Sciences: Information and resources on ichthyology from the California Academy of Sciences.
University of Alabama Ichthyological Collection: Multiple collection and project resources.
Texas Natural Science Center: Ichthyology at the University of Texas at Austin.
Fish Base: A guide to learning and teaching ichthyology.
European Commission: Conserving marine biodiversity.
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture: Research of Mammalogy.
UMass Mammalogy Database: Searchable database by order or family.
Mammalogy Deparment at Harvard: A mammalogy collection of important resources from Harvard University.
Journal of Mammalogy: A collection of open access articles.
Mammalogy: Information and resources from the American Museum of Natural History.
Mycology & Microbiology
ARS USDA: Strategy for an All-Taxa Inventory of Fungal Biodiversity.
International Mycological Association: Association that represents over 30,000 mycologists.
Mycological Resources from Cornell: Discussion group, news and books .
University of South Carolina School of Medicine: Information on mycology.
Open Mycology Journal: A peer reviewed journal that provides information and developments in mycology.
The Science of Birds: Lots of information on the study of birds.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Cornell's lab that focuses on the conservation of biological diversity through education and research focused on birds .
BIRDNET: Provides information on the study and application associated with birds.
American Ornithologists' Union: The oldest and largest organization devoted to the study of birds.
Resources on Ornithology: Extensive list of resources related to the study of birds.