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What is biodiversity?

Updated: May 11, 2021

“Biodiversity”, a contraction for “biological diversity”, represents “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity of the United Nations.

🔶 Within species (genetic diversity): Individuals of the same species could have different morphology features and behaviours due to gene differences, e.g. some individuals being larger than others or presenting different colours; males of some dragonfly species are more colorful than females, or female frogs being usually larger than males.

🔶 Between species (species diversity): Species in the same group have different taxonomic positions, e.g. around 560 species of birds or about 2500 moth species have been recorded in Hong Kong (much more globally). The term of biodiversity is most commonly used as a synonym of species richness, even though biodiversity should include other dimensions (genetic & ecosystems)

🔶 Of ecosystems (ecosystem diversity): Diverse ecosystems could provide different niche to support more kinds of organisms, e.g. mangroves and forests support distinct groups of plants or invertebrates.

All in all, the higher diversity at each level, the better it is. Let’s try our best to understand the different levels of biodiversity so we could conserve them to the best of our abilities! Our Museum is thus dedicated to celebrate this diversity and to its study.


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