Diversity in biology is referred to as biodiversity. This includes the diversity of plants, animals, and their habitats as well as their genetic diversity.
Habitat loss is currently considered the most important threat to biodiversity. Habitat loss includes development for housing and other human activities that disturb and fragment native habitat.
Diversity of life acts as a buffer against disease and other pests. Genetic diversity protects against species loss as well. Higher diversity improves wildlife habitat and increases soil microbial diversity.
The term sustainability is bounced around a lot these days. A sustainable landscape is one that is specific to its site, uses plants adapted to the local climate, and uses few inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. It should also be visually attractive.
Homeowners can play an important role in protecting biodiversity in the landscape. Using a variety of adapted exotics is better than using non adapted, high water use plants but using native plants in their natural combinations is the best solution for creating biodiversity in the landscape.
Providing plants for wildlife is one of the key ways to help create biodiversity in the landscape. Some key design considerations include the following:
Colorado: Sustainable Landscaping
Oregon: Landscape Sustainability Checkup
South Carolina: Habitat Requirements of Wildlife: Food, Water, Cover, and Space