How is biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning?
biodiversity can have profound effects on ecosystem functions such as primary productivity, nutrient cycling, and decomposition
Ecosystems consist of groups of organisms interacting with their abiotic environment, and they perform many functions that are critical for maintaining the conditions that allow for life to occur. Plants and other autotrophs (such as algae in the oceans) are responsible for transforming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the usable forms of carbon that serve as the building blocks for life using energy from sunlight. In addition to sitting at the bottom of the food chain that supplies energy to all other organisms on the planet, plants have the potential to act as a "carbon sink," sucking up and storing excess carbon dioxide produced by human activities and moderating climate change. Animals consume the plants, and in turn provide numerous services to humans including as food, pollination, pest control, and transportation. Millions of species of bacteria and fungi play a critical role in breaking down dead material and reprocessing the nutrients to make them available for plants to continue growing.