The importance of conserving and protecting biodiversity is emphasised in the 17 Global Goals in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Biodiversity encompasses all the variation that exists on Earth among and within species, habitats, natural features and ecosystems.
All life on Earth depends on biological diversity. Biodiversity can help species and ecosystems resist and recover in the event of changes in the local environment, bacterial and viral attacks, and pollution. Biodiversity and natural ecosystems help us to pollinate our crops, recycle nutrients and purify air and water. Biodiversity provides insurance for future needs, but is also recognised to have an inherent value of its own.
Research on biodiversity is hugely important for achieving the goal of sustainable development for future generations. There are many important questions. How are we to develop and conserve biodiversity nationally and globally? What role does biodiversity play in the ecosystem and what role do we humans have in the threat to biodiversity? Which species exist and how do new species arise? How can populations adapt to local changes? And what impact does climate change have on the existence and distribution of species?
Examples of ongoing research
Earth Biogenome Project
SciLifeLab at Uppsala University coordinates Sweden’s participation in a global project that aims to catalogue genomes – the complete DNA sequences of organisms – and their diversity. The project seeks to promote research in areas such as biodiversity, environmental impact, climate change, ecosystems, and plant and animal breeding.
Rosling Group: Ecology and evolution in soil fungi
Research in the field of molecular ecology and evolution, focusing on root-associated fungal communities and their adaptation to soil biogeochemistry and plant host. Over the last five years, an ERC funded research program has allowed the research group to dive into the genomics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, including extensive method development for single nuclei sequencing and assembly workflows.
Microorganisms are the most abundant organisms on Earth and they are key players in carbon and nutrient cycling. However, very little is known about which microorganisms occur in aquatic environments, their spatial and temporal distribution patterns and their functional capabilities and overall importance for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning.
Swedish Biodiversity Data Infrastructure (SBDI)
a national research infrastructure aimed at making biodiversity data more accessible. SBDI provides data and analytical services to model and analyse ecosystem processes at the local, regional and global levels.