Why is Genetic Diversity important?
Genetic diversity is one aspect of biodiversity. While biodiversity is defined as the level at which variations exist within a given life form such as in ecosystems and habitats, genetic diversity is a term used to refer to the overall number of characteristics contained in the genetic make-up of any kind of species. Such term is highly distinct from the term genetic variability since variability describes the tendency or the probability that genetic characteristics will vary. There are theories that have been formulated regarding the concept of genetic diversity. According to the neutral theory of evolution, accumulation of neutral alternatives and substitutions result to such concept. The hypothesis of diversifying selection and frequency-dependent selection, on the other hand, commonly claims that changes occurring between the environment and the species involved contribute to the development of genetic diversity.
Genetic diversity is one important element in nature and in the existence of the living human beings. The first main purpose of genetic diversity is to serve as an avenue for populations and species to appropriately adapt to the constantly changing times and environment. For some instances, the range of genetic diversity varies from one species to another mainly because of the kinds of environment one is exposed to. As the number of environment increases, it is more likely that the genetic diversity possessed by one becomes more honed and developed. The second known reason for genetic diversity to be important is because it plays a major role in the survival and adaptation ability of species. It has been studied that as the species’ environment undergoes changes, variations will occur among the genes that will enable such type of species to survive and adapt appropriately. And finally, genetic diversity is important because it allows evolution to significantly occur.
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