Biodiversity (from the term ‘Biological diversity’) best describes the variety of life on earth. This can include everything that lives in a woodland habitat. From trees, grasses, ferns to deer, ticks, snails and bacteria in the soil, fungi and lichen.
Importantly, all living organisms require a delicate balance to stay alive and also to thrive. Maintaining this balance in woodland is significant. It is not only the trees that can live for hundreds of years. Much of the life supported by woodland habitat is long-lived; slow growing; requires continuity of habitat; or functions on long reproductive cycles.
Usually, the greater the diversity of species, tree age, and light levels present in a woodland, the more resilient the habitat is to change or threats such as disease and climate change.
In arable (and in some cases pastoral) crops, harvests occur annually with a field being ploughed and sown each year. Crop cycles are much longer in woodland. Therefore the most diverse species can be found in native and continuous cover woodlands.