Among the ecosystem services are control of floods and soil erosion.
How is this achieved by the biotic components of the ecosystem?
The biotic components of an ecosystem include the living organisms such as plants and animals. Plants play a very important role in controlling floods and soil erosion. The roots of plants hold the soil particles together, thereby preventing the top layer of the soil to get eroded by wind or running water. The roots also make the soil porous, thereby allowing ground water infiltration and preventing floods. Hence, plants are able to prevent soil erosion and natural calamities such as floods and droughts. They also increase the fertility of soil and biodiversity.
The species diversity of plants (22 per cent) is much less than that of animals (72 per cent). What could be the explanations to how animals achieved greater diversification?
More than 70 percent of species recorded on the Earth are animals and only 22 percent species are plants. There is quiet a large difference in their percentage. This is because animals have adapted themselves to ensure their survival in changing environments in comparison to plants. For example, insects and other animals have developed a complex nervous system to control and coordinate their body structure. Also, repeated body segments with paired appendages and external cuticles have made insects versatile and have given them the ability to survive in various habitats as compared to other life forms.
Can you think of a situation where we deliberately want to make a species extinct? How would you justify it?
Yes, there are various kinds of parasites and disease-causing microbes that we deliberately want to eradicate from the Earth. Since these micro-organisms are harmful to human beings, scientists are working hard to fight against them. Scientists have been able to eliminate small pox virus from the world through the use of vaccinations. This shows that humans deliberately want to make these species extinct. Several other eradication programmes such as polio and Hepatitis B vaccinations are aimed to eliminate these disease-causing microbes.