The history of our planet is inevitably tied to the history of life on Earth and its extraordinary variety. Without biodiversity, life would simply disappear. In the vast natural community to which we belong, biodiversity allows all its components to evolve through a proliferation of survival strategies aimed at adapting to environmental changes. The author examines the structures and functions of biodiversity at all interconnected and complementary levels in the biosphere, from molecules to organisms, from single species to entire ecosystems. This integrated approach includes a review of the risks and problems stemming from the dramatically increasing loss of biodiversity.
Marcello Buiatti teaches Genetics at the University of Florence.