Biodiversity is an important planetary boundary because, without the living species, we would not have biomass, carbon sequestration, rainfall, or the regulation of the flow of fresh water, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Biodiversity regulates the Earth system through genetic diversity, which forms the adaptive capacity of the Earth system, and the diversity of functions. We are in the sixth mass extinction of species, and in the past sixty years we’ve experienced the Great Acceleration with an exponential rise in pressures on the Earth. A classic example of biodiversity loss is the cod fisheries off Newfoundland. Interspecies iterations and agriculture are also impacted by biodiversity. The current indicator for biodiversity, extinction, shows that we are losing species at ten to a hundred times the background rate, putting us in the danger zone. A better indicator is being explored, one that gives an idea of the function biodiversity plays, and the example of the Mean Species Abundance Index is given.
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