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What is genetic diversity and why is it important in ecosystems?

What is genetic diversity?

Genetic diversity refers to the variation in hereditary material, or DNA, within a species. This variation is due to the different alleles in the genome that code for different traits.

Why is it important in resilience-and-resilience-of-natural-ecosystems/">ecosystems?

Genetic diversity is extremely important in ecosystems because it provides many benefits to living organisms.

First, genetic diversity increases the resilience of an ecosystem to environmental change. If a species has more genetic variation, there is a greater chance that at least some individuals will survive adverse conditions and continue to exist.

Secondly, genetic diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. When an ecosystem contains several species with different genetic traits, the ecosystem becomes more resilient to diseases, pests and other adverse effects.

Third, genetic diversity allows ecosystems to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Species with greater genetic diversity are more likely to adapt to environmental changes, such as climate change.

Finally, genetic diversity contributes to the biological productivity of ecosystems. Species with different genetic traits are able to fulfil different ecological roles and thus use resources more efficiently.

Genetic diversity is therefore essential for the sustainability of ecosystems. Human activities such as habitat destruction and climate change threaten this diversity. It is therefore important to conserve and protect genetic diversity in ecosystems.

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