Rainforests are especially key to biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the broad array of living species on the planet. Biodiversity is important for a variety of reasons–for instance, there are curative properties that are unique to certain species. The extinction of a certain tree frog could also imply the loss of the only cure to cancer.
Also, biodiversity is important to the survival of an ecosystem as a whole. The loss of one species can have lasting impacts on other species within the same ecosystem. These species are referred to as “keystone species.” Phytoplankton are a prime example of keystone species. They form the bottom of the food chain in marine environments–the smallest organisms feed on plankton, which are then fed on by other organisms up to the top of the food chain. It is helpful to think of biodiversity as a net and each species of a link in the web which weakens the structure as a whole.
Rainforests and oceans are the deepest sources of biodiversity on the planet.
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