17 March 2010

Biodiversity matters: thank the 'weeds' for our clean water

It's easy to love cute furry creatures, or even ugly icky ones if they are rare. But biodiversity is more than just attractive animals. The diversity of life includes even unseen lifeforms and dull boring ones like 'weeds'.
Stream at Woodlands Park
And why should we care about 'weeds'? Why does biodiversity matter?

Biodiversity is not just a stamp collection of assorted plants and animals. Organisms found in a location are more than the sum of their parts. These various lifeforms are often interdependent. From enormous vertebrates to slimy worms and tiny microbes. Together, they form an ecosystem. In turn, this ecosystem provides services which humans rely upon, but often forget or ignore. Until the services are disrupted or lost.

Have you ever considered that the glass of clean water from your tap may have been purified by a wetland or an entire forest? Too often people take things for granted. If we trace the origin of many products back to the source, more often than not we arrive back at biodiversity.

Adapted from the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 website

Thanks to Kwok Chen Ko, we can learn more about how plants help keep our environment clean! Not only that, they can also help clean up the messes we make. Phytoremediation is a method using plants (often humble plants dismissed as weeds) to suck out pollution from land and water. Chen Ko shares some fascinating case studies. As well as ideas of how these can be applied in Singapore. Read all about it on his blog: Water Quality Monitoring in Singapore's Natural Areas.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...