What is Biodiversity
Biodiversity means different forms of living organisms or variety of life forms found in a particular region.
Classification of Biodiversity
Classification of organisms is a system of arrangement of organisms into different groups and sub-groups on the basis of their similarities, differences and relationships.
The major characteristics used in classifying the organisms into 5 kingdoms are
(a) Whether cells are prokaryotic or eukaryotic.
(b) Whether cells occur singly or in clusters.
(c) Whether the organism is photosynthetic or takes food from outside (heterotrophic).
(d) Organization of different body parts.
Classification makes the study of a wide variety or organisms convenient and easy. It also reveals the inter relationship among different groups of organisms.We regard that the living species, having complex form and structure, are more recent and advanced whereas organisms, having simple form and structure, are primitive and older.
Binomial Nomenclature of Biodiversity
Giving a correct scientific name to an organism or a taxon is called nomenclature.According to binomial system of nomenclature, the scientific name of an organism consists of two separate components – first one designates the genus (generic name) and the second one designates the species (specific name).In classification, the organisms that closely resemble one another are placed in a category. There are seven categories, which are listed below in hierarchy Kingdom Phylum (for animals)/Division (for plants)
Five Kingdom Classification
Robert H. Whittaker (1959) divided living organisms into 5 kingdoms:
(i) Kingdom : Monera
(ii) Kingdom : Protista
(iii) Kingdom : Fungi
(iv) Kingdom : Plantae
(v) Kingdom : Animalia
Kingdom: Monera includes most ancient, smallest (microscopic), simplest and numerous prokaryotes that out number all other kinds of living organism. The different groups included in kingdom: Monera are – Bacteria, Actinomycetes, Cyanobacteria, Mycoplasma and Archaebacteria.
Kingdom: Protista includes eukaryotic unicellular microorganisms such as protistan algae (Dinoflagellates, Diatoms and Euglenoids), Slime-moulds, (the consumer-decomposer protists) and protozoan protists (Zooflagellates, Sarcodines, Sporozoans and Ciliates).
Kingdom: Fungi includes achlorophyllous (non-green), spore-bearing, non-vascular thalloid organisms which are the major decomposers and mineralisers of organic wastes and help in recycling of inorganic and organic molecules in the biosphere.
Plant kingdom is divided into divisions Algae (Thallophyta), Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms.
The division algae include most primitive non vascular plants with simple thalloid body. They are characterized by having unicellular sex organs and absence of embryo stage.
Bryophytes usually grow in moist and shady places. They have independent gametophytic plant body on which the sporophyte is dependent.
Pteriodphyta, Gymnosperm and Angiosperms are vascular plants. Pteriodphytes do not produce seeds and fruits, Gymnosperms produce naked seeds whereas Angiosperms produce seeds and fruits.
Kingdom – Animalia is divided into several phyla. These phylums are: Porifera, Coelenterata, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Chordata (Protochordata and Vertebrata).