What is genetic diversity and what is species diversity?

1 Answer
Apr 6, 2017


genetic diversity usually applies to intra species difference. while
species diversity usually applies to inter species difference.


A lot depends on definitions. It is unclear what actually is referred to as a species.

A species is generally a population of inter breeding organisms. Within ( intra) this species a genetic diversity is important. There is a large possibility of variation within the genome of most organisms. However inbreeding and genetic drift can reduce this possibility of variation or diversity.

For example the African Cheeta is in danger of extinction because there is little genetic diversity within the population. Genetic drift toward being the fastest possible as reduced the possible genetic variation within the genome.

Species variation can be considered in the case of Darwin's finches. The population is often regarded as being 13 different species. This could be consider to be species diversity. Because of difference in habitat and mating habit the 13 types of finches do not normally interbreed. However Hybrids frequently are observed so the different forms of finches are actually one species just variations.

Species diversity(inter) is more correctly seen in the topical rainforest. Because of the great number of possible niches, the tropical rainforest support the largest diversity of organisms or species of any biome.