How can species diversity be maintained?

1 Answer
May 27, 2016

Primarily by avoiding the shifting of natural habitat equilibrium from exploitation (over-harvesting, introduction of foreign species, excessive suppression of 'pests').


From an environmental perspective we posit that all species exist where they do due to ecological and evolutionary factors that maintain an equilibrium for stable existence.

In practice this equilibrium is regularly upset in cycles due to either climate or predation. However, a new equilibrium is then established, usually returning to a previous state and then continuing a cycle of increasing and decreasing. Throughout it all, “diversity” is maintained as species are more likely to differentiate even further than to condense into only a few primary forms.

Only humans have really developed the capability of directly affecting the sustainability or destruction of habitats in a relatively short time-frame. Thus, it is primarily a human responsibility to maintain as much species diversity as possible. Of course, this also runs into the constraint of continued human expansion and viability. If humans do not restrain their own actions, at some point the ecosystem WILL necessarily restrain humanity.

In the long run, species diversity is likely to be maintained, although the species involved and their specific habitats may not be those that we observe today.