The initial diversity within a population is gradually shaped by the process of natural selection, resulting in individuals that are best adapted to a particular biological niche. This adaptation enables them to effectively compete against other species. Various factors in the environment, such as slight temperature variations, humidity levels, and exposure to sunlight, affect the ability of certain plants to thrive and outcompete others.
Species that inhabit these niches will produce a diverse population, leading to significant genetic variation. This diversity is present within species as well as between different species that have coevolved to fit specific biological niches. Each niche offers numerous opportunities for organisms to adjust and succeed in their surroundings. It is likely that various species will develop unique adaptation strategies in order to thrive in their respective niches.
In summary, the adaptation of a population to different niches is driven by natural selection, leading to the biodiversity observed in nature. To continue evolving, a diverse population is necessary as it provides the necessary genetic variation for natural selection to operate upon. The accumulation of random, small genetic changes through natural selection increases the likelihood of generating organisms that are better suited for a specific environment, making diversity in the initial population crucial.
Starting populations with limited genetic diversity have a restricted capacity to produce individuals with enhanced fitness, capable of adapting to new environments. As a result, the current extinction of multiple species and subsequent decrease in biodiversity greatly impede the adaptive abilities of the remaining population. This presents a significant challenge as plant and animal species must adapt to changing conditions in their environment.
The ability of some species to compete and survive in a new biological niche may be limited without a large gene pool. (References: Edward O. Wilson, editor, Frances M. Peter, associate editor, Biodiversity, National Academy Press, March 1988; Biodiversity: An Introduction by Kevin J. Gaston and John I. Spicer; Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity by John Adds, Erica Larkcom, and Ruth Miller; Evolution by Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu, Patrick Gries, and Linda Asher)