39 Biodiversity Hotspot “Concept, World Distribution Needs for the Biodiversity Hotspot and Threats to Biodiversity”

Introduction to Biodiversity Hotspot: –

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region that is both a significant reservoir of biodiversity and is threatened with destruction. The diversity of plant and animal species in a given ecosystem is referred to as biodiversity. In 1988, British biologist Norman Myers coined the word “biodiversity hotspot” to describe a biogeographic area marked by high levels of plant endemism as well as significant habitat loss.


Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/landscape-nature-water-sunset-5338147/

In simple words we may say about the term biodiversity hotspot is “There are places on Earth that are both biologically rich and deeply threatened”. Conservation International was one of the first organizations to identify and support the idea of hotspots. Conservation International accepted the notion of saving these incredible sites as the driving philosophy of our activities in 1989, just one year after scientist Norman Myers wrote the paper that proposed the hotspots definition. Myers added eight more hotspots in 1990, including four Mediterranean-type habitats (ecosystem). In 1989, Conservation International (CI) accepted Myers’ concept of hotspots as its operational blueprint, and in 1996, the organization decided to revisit the idea of hotspots.

As per to CI, the main criteria for classifying the hotspot a region must meet two assumption:

  1. The region must contain a minimum of 1,500 species of vascular plants (> 0.5% of the world’s total) as endemics.
  2. The region also has to lose at least 70% of its original habitat.

In 1999, Conservation International identified 25 biodiversity hotspots in the book title “Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions”. Collectively, these areas contained as endemics about 44% of the earth’s plants and 35% of land mammals in an area that formerly covered only 11.8% of the planet’s terrestrial surface. In 2005 Conservation International published an update titled “Hotspots Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions”.

Distribution of Biodiversity Hotspot Region of World

Biodiversity Hotspot
Biodiversity Hotspot Flow Diagram

Importance of Biodiversity Hotspot Region

  • There would be no air to breathe, no food to consume, and no water to drink if species did not exist.
  • Biodiversity Hotspots are important to human life and they are the areas on Earth where the most wildlife is threatened.
  • Biodiversity is a rich source of raw materials for consumption and production. Many livelihoods, such as farmers, fishers, and timber workers, are directly dependents on biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity provides working habitats that provide ozone, clean air and water, plant pollination, pest control, wastewater management, and a variety of other environmental services.
  • Biodiversity provides working habitats that provide ozone, clean air and water, plant pollination, pest control, wastewater management, and a variety of other environmental services.
Biodiversity Hotspot1

Image Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image mediatype=photography&phrase=forest%20biodiversity

  • Biodiversity is a treasure trove of systemic ecological evidence that aids our understanding of the natural world and its history.
  • provisioning services—the production of food, fiber, and water
  • regulating services—the control of climate and diseases.
  • supporting services—nutrient cycling and crop pollination.
  • cultural services—such as spiritual and recreational benefits.

Threats to Biodiversity

Habitat Fragmentation

The main factor of habitat fragmentation is the exploitation of resources, agricultural conversion, and urbanization. All these are the main factors for the loss of biodiversity loss. As a result of habitat fragmentation, small isolated areas of land emerge, unable to sustain species populations in the future.

Introductions of Exotic Species to Local Species

The introduction of the intentional and inadvertent wide range of variety into ecosystems in which they do not belong creates resulted in ecosystems that differ radically in structure and function from those originally present.


Different types of pollution (water, land, and air) directly threaten biodiversity loss. Increasing the urbanization process worldwide creates several climatic and hydrologic degradation issues in the world which cases the result of biodiversity loss. Pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline, coal, and gas may linger in the atmosphere as particulates or fall to the earth as acid rain. Acidic rain is composed of sulfuric and nitric acid directly impact on lakes, river streams, and sensitive forest soils, and contributes to slower forest growth and tree damage at high elevation area. Household and industrial waste create water pollution which directly affects the water ecosystem.

pollution ecosystem

Image Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/image?mediatype=photography&phrase=ecosystem%20pollution

Climate Change

As the increase of Carbon dioxide due to the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, deforestation, and agricultural practices create the imbalance of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, which hold heat from escaping the earth’s surface. With the increases of green house gases the overall temperature of the earth has increased which cause responsible for high level of air pollution, short time metrological changes and much more planetary change in this condition Some species will not be able to adapt to these changes in the environment and will become extinct.


Fig: Forest fire wildfire at night time on the mountain with big smoke in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/search/2/imagemediatype=photography&phrase=climate%20change

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