How is biodiversity threatened

What is the threat to biodiversity?

Especially since the middle of the last century, biological diversity has also been decreasing in Germany, so that many wild species and natural ecosystems are acutely threatened in terms of their existence or long-term functionality. In Germany around 40% of wild animal species, around 30% of ferns and flowering plants and around 70% of habitats (biotope types) are endangered.

Overuse and degradation

Overuse and degradation lead to the loss of biodiversity. This is particularly true for densely populated areas around the world. The destruction of habitats, e.g. B. by expansion of settlement, traffic, industrial and commercial areas, by excavation, deforestation and slash and burn, drainage, overfishing and their degradation z. B. by fragmentation, erosion or by material pollution.

Change of use

In principle, agriculture creates the prerequisites for the preservation of biological diversity in many areas. On the other hand, it also contributes to the endangerment of nature and the landscape. Increasing demand for food, changes in the economic framework and the resulting adaptation measures, e.g. B. Enlargement of the fields, narrowing of crop rotations, reduction of structural diversity (hedges, field margins, etc.), use of performance-enhancing and yield-securing resources (e.g. fertilizers and pesticides) can be held responsible for the decline in biological diversity. At the same time, agriculture itself is affected by the immense use of land by settlement and traffic as well as other space-consuming activities, such as B. Leisure and Recreation.

Alignment of agricultural production processes

The large regional diversity of crops, varieties and breeds of crops (agrobiodiversity) that previously predominated in agriculture is on the decline. Today, of the original 7000 plant species that were cultivated for human consumption and improved through breeding, only three plant species (maize, rice, wheat) provide over half of the basic foodstuffs required for human nutrition worldwide. Almost 60% of farm animal breeds are threatened with extinction.

Alien species

The unintentional introduction of species from other regions and parts of the world has increased significantly, among other things due to the increasing international movement of goods and travel. The spread of so-called invasive alien species can lead to the displacement and endangerment of native species and natural and near-natural ecosystems in the long term. Examples in Germany are the spread of the raccoon, the Herkulesstaude (giant hogweed) or the glandular balsam.