Ultimately, biodiversity is composed of the variety of genes and genome combinations of Earth's organisms.(Campbell, 1999)

In a single species, genetic diversity is responsible for every small variation including: These Pelicans on one Florida bridge show genetic diversity within a species. Photo taken by Michelle Aldridge, 1999.

  • body size
  • resistance to disease and hardships
  • overall reproductive fitness (the success of an organism to transfer its genes from one generation to the next)
An organism is more likely to survive in a large population if its parents are unrelated and its genetic diversity is rich. These organisms have a better chance of passing on stronger genes to their offspring. Thus, genetically rich species are more likely to evolve as environmental conditions change. (Becher, 1998)

Genetic poverty is a precursor to extinction. (Becher, 1998)

Ecological Diversity Species Diversity Genetic Diversity

What is biodiversity? | Global Hotspots | Mass Extinction | Florida Everglades | Bibliography