MAR 09, 2017 08:36 AM PST

An economic argument for biodiversity


Environmental conservation is often looked at as a juxtaposition from pro-economy development. But that idea is hardly the case when it comes to biodiversity. Scientists have actually done studies that prove that biodiversity translate directly into economic gains. Forests with a greater variety of tree species ultimately thrive more, growing faster and bigger trees than forests with fewer species. This makes sense because different species bring various survival techniques to the forest, so instead of competing with each other for the same resources, they are able to apply different methods of nourishing themselves. In the logging industry such biodiversity adds up to more timber available. In fact, diversified forests produce 35% percent timber than forests stands with one species. That adds up to $200 billion each year!

This phenomenon is called a diversity dividend, and it's not only at work in forests. Farms that have a variety of pollinator species (who all pollinate at various times in the season), are able to insure more productive crops (and therefore profits). In rivers and lakes, the more species of bacteria that eat toxins, the less money we end up spending on clean-up projects. Such ecosystem services, as we can call them, provide important economic support, and though we should be careful of putting a dollar sign on nature, the philosophy of valuing ecosystems is crucial in our path forward as a planet.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 01, 2018
Mid-air Chemistry Experiment Opens Up a New Era in Metal-organic Frameworks Research
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are molecules with network structures made of metal ion cores coordinated to organic ligands. Due to their high internal su...
NOV 15, 2018
Videos
NOV 15, 2018
Viewing the Interactions Between Cellular Structures
Scientists have used powerful microscopy techniques to learn more about how the dynamics of a live cell....
NOV 19, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2018
Kepler Scientists Reflect on the Now Retired Mission
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope recently ran out of fuel, preventing it from aligning its antenna toward Earth and maintaining communication. NASA knew...
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
Legal marijuana sales begin today in MA
Massachusetts opened its first dispensaries for legal recreational marijuana sales today. The companies, one called Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and ano...
NOV 21, 2018
Videos
NOV 21, 2018
Human Urine as Fertilizer?
Although at first it may sound unappealing, human urine could be a key asset in sustainable agriculture research particularly for its unique contribution....
DEC 10, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 10, 2018
What To Expect During Your Stress Test
If you or a loved one has been scheduled for a treadmill stress test, you may be wondering what you can expect. The procedure is usually done in a hospital...
Loading Comments...