When we talk about sustainability, almost always the first thing we think about is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reversing the climate crisis. But sustainability is not only relative to our emissions, it is also key that we focus on the ecological balance of nature and for that it is important to know and value the Earth’s biomes.
But, what exactly is a biome?
“Biome” is an ecological term created in the 20th century from the Greek root βιο (life) and the Greek suffix -ma (grouping).
Biomes are the fundamental pillar for the balance of nature, since they correspond to certain areas or zones that, due to their geographical characteristics, share a climate, flora and fauna. Biome is a broader term than habitat; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.
In other words, it is a set of ecosystems where all the living beings that inhabit there are closely related to each other and to their environment. It is the climate, one of the geographical characteristics, that determines how many types of biomes exist in the world.
We can find many classifications for biomes, among the most widely accepted criteria are Holdridge, Whittaker, Walter, Bailey and the WWF System, quantifying 33 different types of biomes (14 terrestrial, 12 freshwater and 7 marine).
At the same time, there is the most recognized and studied classification of all, which groups biomes in terrestrial (jungles, forests, grasslands, savannas, taiga, steppe, deserts and tundra) and marine (estuaries, streams, lagoons, lakes, coral reefs, oceans, seas and mangroves). In both cases, there are also anthropogenic classifications, or man-made biomes, such as settlements, villages, farmlands, grasslands, wooded and wild areas.
Although it seems like a simple explanation, it is important to have this background in order to understand the importance of these biomes to the ecological balance between the different species that inhabit and co-inhabit them.
Why are they so important? What is the value they deliver?
When we speak of ecological balance, we refer to the incredible capacity that biomes have to satisfy and conserve the basic needs of life on the planet. Biomes allow the development of biological diversity, providing vital resources for subsistence such as oxygen, carbon and raw materials such as food or other products – a set of benefits called “ecosystem services”.
It is everyone’s responsibility then, to provide care and maintenance of Biomes, ensuring a natural conservation of their characteristics and effectively educating the population on actions or measures that helps to accomplish this mission.
In addition, technology has an increasingly leading role in helping the great challenges nature is facing, so it is key to apply it for conservation and to involve these and future generations in the urgency of their care.
At Odd Industries we are working to take advantage of the most advanced technology that exists today to develop tools that allow us to be able to measure the value of the ecosystem services of our biomes and help to reverse the environmental crisis that we are going through, but that’s something we’ll share more about very soon.