Can Biomass Help with Biodiversity Conservation?

Suppose you have read any of our other blog posts. In that case, you will know what biomass is already (if not, check out our blog!). Still, you may be unaware of how it can help with biodiversity conservation. In this article, you can learn about biodiversity conservation and how biomass can play a part in preserving our natural world. Let’s dive in!

Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to biological diversity and includes all living organisms that exist on planet Earth. This can be any ecosystem in the forests, oceans, deserts, and urban areas as well. Biodiversity isn’t simply just the volume of living things here; it also looks at how different species connect with each other and their natural habitats, including the human population.

The conservation of biodiversity is to protect, uplift, and manage ecosystems to maintain their threshold level to produce sustainable benefits for us and future generations. Right now, we are facing serious problems concerning biodiversity loss and climate change.

Why Do We Need Biodiversity?

We need a biodiverse planet to survive. We are a part of Earth’s natural system and all of the other millions of species out there. We need clean water and air as well as food like plants and animals so we can thrive. Each element of the ecosystem supports the entire circle of life in the natural world. It can have severe effects on the planet if they get taken away like we have seen previously with the mass extinction of plants and animals in times gone by.

Humans are a relatively adaptable species, and it is why we thrive here. Still, by relying on biodiversity and now realising what damage we have caused to biodiversity loss, we need to help keep habitats of plants and animals stable and sustainable.

Forest Biodiversity

Types of Biodiversity

Not many people know that biodiversity incorporates many elements, making it more complex than it seems at first glance. Let’s take a brief look at the key types of biodiversity:

Genetic Diversity

This type of biodiversity is diversity within species. All species on Earth are somehow related through certain genetic connections, hence ‘genetic diversity’.

For example, humans also have plenty of diversity in genetics with other animal species on the planet. You won’t be surprised by the many species of monkeys on the list, but there are still some revelations to shock you! These include:

  • Chimpanzees
  • Bonobos
  • Gorillas
  • Orangutans
  • Gibbons
  • Cats
  • Cows

Over time, species diverge and develop different attributes, therefore expanding their genetic diversity and contributing to the overall biodiversity of our planet. However, there are also invasive species that can develop and lower the number of other species, grey squirrels being a prime example as they now cause the decrease of red squirrels in some ecosystems. Invasive species need to be controlled to maintain this balance as well and is starting to take place in the ecosystem services.

Species Diversity

This diversity focuses on specific regions and can measure biodiversity within a particular habitat of the variety of species, and all species are ranked in a biological classification to measure this. The term ‘species richness’ is used to describe the number of species in a particular area. It is typical for forests and coral reefs to have the highest species diversity and contribute the most to biodiversity.

Ecological Diversity

Like species diversity, ecological diversity can measure biodiversity in the ecosystems, the network of species in a local ecosystem. Think of a habitat as a small, tight-knit community, and an ecosystem is an entire neighbourhood. Ecosystems also incorporate all living matter, including plant species, energy, and nutrients, not just the animals. Although it is much more challenging to measure ecological diversity than the other two types, it still plays a vital role in overall biodiversity.

What is the Difference Between Biomass and Biodiversity?

Biomass is the measure of every living thing in an area in the study of ecology. However, biomass also refers to the renewable energy it can produce from waste and dead organisms. On the other hand, as explained above, biodiversity measures the variety of life in an area, including species richness and species abundance.

Sustainable Biomass for Biodiversity

What is Conservation Biomass?

There’s no shortage of land, which is considered undesirable to us. This could include flood-prone, acidic, or degraded land. However, conservation biomass could potentially make use of restoring these unused land and making them more productive.

For years now, governments, charities, and private companies have been developing ideas for a sustainable supply of biomass that can use restored land. This biomass is now known as conservation biomass, which can then create renewable energy and positively impact our environment and biodiversity.

Due to conservation biomass being produced from previously unused lands, it will not compete with grounds needed for food production. The biomass materials can be grown to restore the health of the soil and water resources. Flood damage can be controlled, wildlife habitats can be created, land management costs can be reduced, and water quality in the surrounding areas can improve.

Why Does Sustainable Forest Management Matter?

Something that connects heavily with biomass production is the use of forests, as wood is counted as an excellent biomass source. At Woodyfuel, we specialise in the production of biomass fuel such as wood chips and pellets. We comply with the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) and strive for sustainable forest management to preserve our natural resources and protect biodiversity.

Sustainable forest management is a concept which aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values (including biodiversity) of all types of forests. By managing our forests, the productivity of biomass fuel can continue for future generations, maintain carbon stocks, preserve the surrounding ecosystems and protect from biodiversity loss.

The Importance of Biodiversity Conservation

Now let’s discuss the importance of biodiversity conservation before integrating biomass into the equation.

Economic Growth

Biodiversity conversation directly impacts local communities’ economic benefits as many prosperous derivatives come from a thriving natural environment such as food, firewood, construction material, industrial products, and biomass fuel!

Ecosystem Services

As previously mentioned, biodiversity is an essential part of protecting ecosystems. A great example of this is the Amazon rainforest, as it produces approximately 20% of the world’s oxygen supply through the photosynthesis of plants and trees. By conserving biodiverse environments, we are supporting these crucial elements of ecosystems.

Aesthetics

Even those who have no interest in the environment most have to admit the beauty of nature and life on earth. Many people find peace and pleasure in nature and enrich the culture of an area. We have animal parks, cultural heritages based on natural history, bird watching conservations, and much more for our enjoyment, and they all centre around nature. The more biologically diverse a natural space is, the more likely it will thrive and have a stunning view. This is all made possible with biodiversity conservation.

The beauty of biodiversity

Ethical Integrity

All life on Earth is unique and deserves respect. Each species can play an essential role in the ecosystem and biodiversity. We can help maintain the ecosystems on our planet. Therefore, it can be argued that we have an ethical and social responsibility towards preserving biodiversity and upholding our integrity as a species.

Social and Cultural Benefits

Connecting to the aesthetics of nature, many people throughout human history have worked hard to protect places of nature and local landscapes. That’s why we have national parks!

Nature has played a part in many cultures over time and has inspired works of art and literature, mythology, dances and many other cultural developments. Again, biodiversity conservation will allow future generations to continue being inspired by nature.

How Can Woodyfuel’s Biomass Fuel Help With Biodiversity Conservation?

There are so many benefits to responsibly sourced wood fuel, from economic growth to sustainable energy production. By ensuring sustainable forest management coupled with conservation biomass, we work hard to protect the Earth’s biodiversity and improve the environment. Putting aside biomass being a potential replacement for fossil fuels (which you can read about here), we can maintain and replenish ecosystems and biodiversity in any given area by using growing forests and harvesting from unused lands.

We will continue to strive to help our environment while helping you get renewable energy into your industry. Contact us today!

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