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Pattern of Biodiversity

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The word “biodiversity” refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can cover the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that support life. The term “biodiversity” refers to a wide range of living things, from people to microorganisms, fungi, and invertebrates, as well as the uncommon, endangered, and endangered species we are familiar with.

Also Read: Types of Ecosystem

Importance of studying Biodiversity

The mechanisms on Earth that support all life, including human existence, depend on biodiversity. We can categorize the importance in broad terms as follows:

  1. Economic value: Biodiversity provides humans with the basic materials they need for agriculture and industry. Many livelihoods, such as those of farmers, fishermen, and forest workers, depend on biodiversity.
  2. Ecological life support: Biodiversity helps ecosystems produce oxygen, provide clean air and water, pollinate plants, manage pests, process sewage, and perform several other ecosystem functions.
  3. Scientific Importance: Biodiversity provides a wealth of systematic ecological information that advances our knowledge of the natural world and its genesis.
  4. Recreation: A few of the activities that depend on our distinctive biodiversity include birdwatching, hiking, camping, and fishing. Additionally crucial to our tourist industry is biodiversity.
  5. Cultural significance: Australian culture is intrinsically related to biodiversity via the expression of identity, spirituality, and aesthetic enjoyment. Indigenous Australians hold deeply held spiritual beliefs about plants and animals, and as a result, they have developed close ties to and a sense of responsibility for biodiversity.

Also Read: Ecosystem and Its Components

Patterns of Biodiversity

Ecologists have noted that species vary both locally and globally, as well as across time.

  • Global Pattern of Biodiversity: Species Varying Across the Globe Species living in comparable settings but located in various places of the world are distantly related and behave similarly. Examples of such flightless birds are the Australian emus, the South American rhea, and the African ostrich.
  • Local species variation: The Galapagos Islands, which are near together but have diverse temperatures and atmospheric compositions, serve as an illustration. So each island has its species of sparrow and tortoise that have adapted to that island.
  • Species Varying Over Time: We may use the current armadillo and the fossilized remains of the glyptodon as an illustration.

Biodiversity Spatial Patterns

Biodiversity varies widely over the world. The latitude, altitude, and temporal variations of biodiversity all affect each other. It is the pattern of biodiversity that is best defined. Diversity has been stated to follow two patterns that alter as space changes.

Latitudinal Gradient

Up to this point, this is the most well-characterized and well-known pattern of biodiversity studies. As we move from the equator to the poles, species diversity appears to follow a predictable pattern. The diversity of plants and animals is seen to be greatest towards the equator and to lessen as we approach the poles. A few species may be an exception, but overall, it is a tendency that has been noticed. At the equator, both plants and animals have a diversity of species. India, which is surrounded by tropical climates, has a wide variety of species. However, the vast Amazon rainforests exhibit the highest level of biological diversity in terms of the variety of species that call that area home. Despite having the greatest variety, many species in the Amazon are thought to remain undiscovered and unidentified. Ecologists believe the following to be the cause of the increasing biodiversity in the tropics:

  • Climates in tropical regions are more consistent than in temperate regions. Because the species do not need to constantly adjust to a changing season, the tropics can maintain a greater variety of species.
  • Since there have been several recent glaciations in temperate zones, their ecosystem has been quite unstable. The tropics, though, have remained relatively constant. As a result, speciation in the tropics has been favored more by temperate lands.
  • Comparatively speaking, tropical areas are more vulnerable to sun radiation. As a result, the photosynthesis of the plants in this area produces more energy. The subsequent trophic levels in the food chain receive more energy as a result. Greater diversity is thus supported
    by more energy.

Species-Area Relationship

Alexander von Humboldt, a famous German naturalist, and geographer noticed a connection between a place’s species diversity and its geographic location. He discovered that the diversity of plants and animals grew as he expanded his observation area, but only to a certain point. The equation may be used to describe it mathematically.

log S = log C + Z log A


  • S is the number of species.
  • C is Y-intercept 
  • Z is the Regression coefficient
  • A is Area

The graphic below can be used to visualize the equation:


Regardless of the taxonomic group or region, Z has a value between 0.1 and 0.2. However, we discovered that the slope of the line is significantly steeper when we analyze it for very vast regions, such as the whole continents (Z values in the range of 0.6 to 1.2).

Patterns of Biodiversity through Time

The following discussion covers three major categories of recognized temporal patterns:

1. Seasonal Pattern: The diversity of species fluctuates throughout the year. The variety of bug species rises during the wet season and falls throughout the winter. The breeding season and migratory activities of birds are connected to their variety.
2. Successional Pattern: Plant and animal species start to reoccupy the area after a disruption. They develop and are supplanted by new species. Succession refers to this pattern of temporal change in a community’s species composition.
3. Evolutionary Pattern: As animals have evolved over more than 600 million years, there has been an increase in biodiversity in every regime and era. Some creatures are depicted as missing connections or existent links in the history of evolution, while others are still found
as living fossils.

FAQs on Pattern of Biodiversity

Question 1: Describe the significance of Z’s steeper slope.


When determining the species-area association, a steeper slope of Z means that bigger regions, such as continents, are taken into consideration.

Question 2: What do you understand by Biodiversity? Write its types also.


The term “biodiversity,” which is derived from “biological diversity,” describes the diversity of life on Earth at all scales, from genes to ecosystems, and can include the ecological, evolutionary, and cultural processes that sustain life. The three types of biodiversity listed below are important:

  1. Species Biodiversity
  2. Genetic Biodiversity
  3. Ecological Biodiversity

Question 3: Describe several patterns of biodiversity.


Charles Darwin distinguished three types and levels of biodiversity, which are as follows:

  1. Global patterns of biodiversity
  2. Species vary locally
  3. Species vary over time

Question 4: What are the various patterns in the biodiversity of species across time?


Seasonal, successional, and evolutionary patterns are the many time-dependent patterns of species richness.

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Last Updated : 15 Feb, 2023
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