Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 August 2019
Biodiversity is frequently thought of as synonymous with species diversity in wild lands, and biodiversity loss is frequently thought of as synonymous with the extinction of wild species. But biodiversity is much more than species diversity in wild lands, and biodiversity loss is much more than species extinction. Biodiversity is the variety of species used in both the production and consumption of goods and services. Examples include the ornamental plants, birds and animals that people use to enrich their lives, the variety of foods they use to enrich their diet, the mix of biofuels or biofibres used to support productive activities. It includes the genetic diversity of cultivated crops, of crop pests, of wild crop relatives, of weedy species. It includes the range of biotic disease agents that affect human, animal and plant health, and the species used to control disease such as traditional medicinal plants and the plants used as the source of modern pharmaceuticals.