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Where is Earth's Biodiversity Located?

Where is Earth's Biodiversity Located?

Our theme for August 2018 is "Biodiversity" --

THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF EARTH'S BIODIVERSITY IS LOCATED IN TROPICAL FORESTS

Take note: at least 50% of our planet's biodiversity lives in less than 5% of it's area. Tropical forests contain half or more of Earth's species and hold more than half of Earth's forest carbon, yet currently cover roughly 3% the globe. 

 Earth's tropical forests contain half or more of all biodiversity. 

Earth's tropical forests contain half or more of all biodiversity. 

Coral reefs, the next most diverse system, contain about 6% of global biodiversity and cover less than 1% of our planet.

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Earth's tropical ecosystems are bioligically super-charged. They contain Earth's greatest concentrations of biodiversity at all scales, from micro to macro. This life-bearing region of our planet, "Earth's biological core": 1) largely determines the stability of Earth's climate, 2) is responsible for producing about 1/3rd of our oxygen, freshwater and food, and, 3) co-determines biological productivity (food growth, etc.) worldwide. The tropics are Earth's vital organs.

The following maps show how Earth's biodiversity is congregated. 

All images borrowed from BiodiversityMapping.org, an excellent resource: 

Land-based species with spines, aka. "vertebrates." Red is greatest diversity, blue is least. 

 Bird diversitywhere it's most concentrated . 

Bird diversitywhere it's most concentrated . 

 Mammal diversity where it's most concentrated. 

Mammal diversity where it's most concentrated. 

 Amphibian diversity where it's most concentrated. 

Amphibian diversity where it's most concentrated. 

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 The Southeast Asian islands, primarily Indonesia, are of critical biodiversity importance in all domains: land, freshwater, and oceans. 

The Southeast Asian islands, primarily Indonesia, are of critical biodiversity importance in all domains: land, freshwater, and oceans. 

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Birds_all_spp.jpg
Mammals_all.jpg
Amphibians_all.jpg

Biodiversity = Bioproductivity. The biological integrity of Earth's tropical ecosystems co-determines Earth's ecological security, climate, and biological productivity. Ergo, the continued well-being of Civilization and quality of life largely depends upon the integrity of Earth's tropical ecosystems. 

Tropical forests are Earth's oldest living systems. They endured the last major extinction event 65 million years ago and have effectively served as our biosphere's repopulation center ever since. 

Visit my projects biointegrity.net and The Systemic Climate Solution to learn more about Earth's most biodiverse and bioproductive ecosystems, the tropical forests, and how urgent / globally beneficial it is to protect and restore them today. 

--Chris Searles, editor

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