A comprehensive handbook on biodiversity

The origin of life remains one of the most phenomenal events in the

universe. Nearly three and a half billion years ago, the planet

witnessed pulsating life in shallow, warm seas. Since then, the

amazing process of evolution enabled living forms to segregate into

an array of what is now called species.

Some remained single cells,

while others changed into distinct multicellular plants and animals.

Thus, today's world is teeming with life forms of all shapes and

sizes—from those that are invisible to naked eyes (such as virus and

bacteria) to huge elephants and banyan trees.

Biodiversity comprises these millions of diverse biological

species, living together under a common habitat.

PREFACE .......................................................................................................... V

BIODIVERSITY AND ITS ORIGIN ........................................................................... 1

BIODIVERSITY: GLOBAL AND LOCAL TRENDS ........................................................ 5

BIODIVERSITY IN LAND AND WATER ...................................................................13

MOUNTAINS TO OCEANS .................................................................................19

AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY...........................................................................25

DIVERSITY IN DOMESTICATED ANIMALS .............................................................35

MICROBIAL DIVERSITY .....................................................................................43

MEGADIVERSE COUNTRIES AND HOT SPOTS ........................................................49

PROJECTING BIODIVERSITY...............................................................................57

BIODIVERSITY AND CIVIL SOCIETY .....................................................................67

TRIBAL CULTURE AND BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................73

VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY ..................................................................................77

BUSINESS IN BIODIVERSITY ...............................................................................83

BIODIVERSITY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY ................................................................89

THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY ...............................................................................95

HUMAN SOCIETY AND LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY ................................................. 105

GLOBAL CONCERNS AND LOCAL EFFORTS ....................................................... 111

BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ............................................................. 115

REFERENCES ................................................................................................ 125