The largest category of biodiversity includes all of Earth's distinct ecosystems. Every ecosystem has unique physical characteristics such as specific habitat, elevation, temperature, moisture, wind, weather, soils and the all of the life forms contained in it.

The tropics of Cancun, Mexico: Scientists have long known that tropical ecosystems are more biodiverse than temperate ones. This image is copyrighted by Superstock and was downloaded from Webshots.comScientists who study ecological diversity are concerned with interactions among species and how these species relate to their environment. (Becher, 1998)

Only by dealing with groups of species and their surroundings can biodiversity be preserved, because organisms work together to create the ecosystems they live in.

For example, both plants and animals are needed to provide the ecosystem with essential nutrients such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. The efficiency of the water cycle depends on intact bodies of water, forests and all other ecosystems. (Becher, 1998)

Ecological Diversity Species Diversity Genetic Diversity

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