Protecting biodiversity helps protect us all, both microscopic algae and giant whales, busy bees and fragrant flowers, and we humans and other primates. The web of life is interconnected and we need each other in ways that may not be suspected until a species becomes greatly reduced in number or extinct. We are dependent on microscopic species found in coastal ocean waters for their role in modifying the trace minerals iodine and selenium from forms that are soluble in the ocean into forms that are released into the air in water vapor. Crops grown closer to the ocean tend to have more iodine content and Brazil nut trees found in the Amazon rain forest are good sources of selenium because they are adept at harvesting the selenium found in water vapor.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators are essential for agriculture and biodiversity among wildflowers and other plants growing wild because as they gather nectar from the flowers they are also gathering pollen on their legs and bodies and transporting it to other flowers. Some crops and wild plants can only grow seeds or fruit when pollen is available from another plant. Other types of crops and plants can self pollinate, pollen from their own flowers can pollinate the seeds or fruit of the plant. Currently our use of pesticides and herbicides and reduction of land with a variety of wildflowers available is negatively affecting the health of bees and other pollinators. It can help provide more variety of pollen - a more varied diet for the bees and other insect pollinators, to purposely plant more of the beneficial types of wildflowers in your lawn or along the edge of farm fields or roads, and in parks.
For more information on garden and wildflowers that can help provide a balanced diet for bees and butterflies see "Providing a Place for Pollinators," University of Illinois Extension.
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