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Species diversity & biodiversity

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Why biodiversity and biological diversity are important

The topic of climate change is currently omnipresent. With our project “Magenta Blossom”, we would like to explain the consequences it has for us humans and all other living creatures on earth, the role biodiversity plays in this process, and how we can counteract climate change with the use of state-of-the-art technology.

A BLOOMING FIELD FOR ALL

“Magenta Blossom” is truly close to our hearts at Deutsche Telekom, because with this project we commit ourselves to nature conservation and biodiversity. A unique research project on the subject of biodiversity has been set up on one of the largest contiguous areas of arable land in the Cologne/Bonn area. Over 40 hectares of so-called blooming islands provide a home for bees, butterflies and many other insects. With the help of precision seeding methods, letters of more than 50 different native flowers and wildflowers were planted in the field. Every single sown letter forms a blooming island.

On this website we would like to introduce you in different articles to important topics, which play a supporting role in this unique project. For example, the importance of bees in an ecosystem, the functions of wildflowers and herbs, or exciting innovations such as smart farming. First and foremost, we want to inform and raise awareness for these fascinating topics. We would like to encourage people to look at their own everyday life from a different perspective – with prudence and a focus on sustainability. First, however, we will devote ourselves to a topic that is extremely important for us humans in particular, but also for all other living creatures on earth: biodiversity in an ecosystem.

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How does an ecosystem work?

Biodiversity ensures that animals, plants and us humans can coexist in a healthy ecosystem. As so often in a system, many things are interconnected and interdependent – small changes often have big effects. Plants, for example, extract CO2 from the air and produce vital oxygen for all living beings. They are pollinated by insects, which also pollinate our fruit and vegetables. But insects are also food for birds, mice and frogs. Humans themselves are only yet another part of this ecosystem but are particularly dependent on species diversity. Natural habitats and the diversity of species provide us with food and drinking water, supply fibers for clothing and raw materials for medicines, offer protection against storms and floods, and regulate the climate. If these habitats are reduced and more species become extinct, it has an enormous impact on the livelihoods of all living creatures, but especially humans.

But biodiversity is at risk, even on a large scale. Its loss depends on various factors, all of which are closely linked to climate change. For example, a 75% decline in flying insects has been recorded in German nature reserves. The number of butterflies has decreased by a good third in the last 25 years. The number of regionally typical birds has decreased by 36 %. The bad thing is that species extinction is irreversible. Species that have gone extinct never come back. The consequences for the planet and, of course, for us humans are devastating and often difficult to predict.

Thus, it is clear that an ecosystem is a system in need of protection that only functions in a balanced manner and reacts sensitively as soon as individual components of it are overly stressed or removed. Biodiversity can protect an ecosystem from fluctuating environmental conditions and climate change. And a healthy and diverse ecosystem is more resilient, responds better to change, and regenerates more quickly. Species diversity also functions like a protective shield – it makes plants in particular more resistant to new diseases by preventing individual species from becoming too dominant and thus transmitting pathogens.

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Life under our feet

There’s a short distance from plants to the soil below. Biodiversity actually also takes place below ground. The plants of the blooming islands in our field bring nitrogen into the soil and thus provide a healthy basis for the important soil flora. And the soil is home to a wide variety of living organisms: Bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, mites, millipedes, centipedes, isopods, springtails and insect larvae – billions upon billions of soil animals normally live underground and thus virtually invisible in a healthy square meter of soil, and they are immensely important to the health of any ecosystem. When this diversity in the soil is lost, it negatively impacts soil fertility, agricultural yields, and at the end of the day, most importantly, life on Earth. Although we often don’t see it in our everyday lives, the life beneath our feet is also extremely important and helps to maintain and promote biodiversity and the health of our soils.

We invite you to visit “Magenta Blossom” – in the middle of Germany, not far from Telekom headquarters in Bonn – to get an idea of what biodiversity looks like in a healthy ecosystem.

Will the blooming flower fields become a new home for insects? Do they have a positive effect on the all-important biodiversity? These are just two of many exciting questions that we would like to answer together with two universities that are providing scientific support for our project.

Keep an eye on the hashtag #greenmagenta or #magentablossom to not miss anything.

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