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What is biodiversity? Why is it important?

Biodiversity refers to the variety of species that make up our shared environment. It is the very fabric that weaves ecosystems together offering many benefits that enrich our lives and environment. This intricate, delicate web of our ecosystems faces challenges that require our attention and action. 

Every species, from the tiniest microorganism to the largest fauna, plays a unique role in any ecosystem. In our ecosystems, bees, butterflies and other pollinators help our crops and plants grow. Root structures of native grasses and plants purify our water. Studying these organisms helps us understand adaptation and survival. Biodiversity brings resilience to ecosystems, making them more adaptable to changes and disruptions.  

Since the beginning of life on Earth, new species have emerged and evolved, adapting to and changing the world. Species have come into existence and disappeared throughout history. Sometimes extinction is due to big events like natural disasters, sometimes it’s just the natural course of evolution and increasingly in our time it’s due to human interference.  

Habitat loss, often due to deforestation and urban development, is a leading threat to biodiversity. Climate change also disrupts ecosystems as pollution continues to endanger species' health. The lack of awareness and action intensifies these threats, and recent developments in environmental preservation echo the urgent need to act.  

Conservationists and communities work tirelessly to restore habitats, combat pollution and develop sustainable practices globally. Studying the impacts of climate change can help us innovate and solve new ecosystem protection problems. Indigenous practices are also gaining recognition for their role in protecting biodiversity. 

Every species has a role shaping the world we inhabit. Biodiversity's benefits are undeniable, from sustaining ecosystems to enriching our lives culturally and economically. If we understand and appreciate biodiversity, promote protective efforts and recognize the threats, we can make a difference.  

At Alliant Energy, our solar projects are designed with biodiversity in mind. We plant native grasses and seed mixes at our solar farms to help reduce storm water runoff and provide habitats for pollinators and other wildlife. These steps help us build stronger communities and ensure the longevity of our ecosystems. 
Grant Barton is a Communications Partner with a passion for sustainability and eco-friendly city planning. He has a diverse background in engineering, politics and international communications and hopes to apply this experience when writing and breaking down complex topics related to Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Future plans.

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