Books  Conservation & Biodiversity  Conservation Biology 

Biodiversity: An Introduction

  • Timely overview of the serious attempts made to quantify and describe biodiversity in a scientific way
  • Acts as an easy entry point into the primary literature
  • Provides real-world examples of key issues, including illustrations of major temporal and spatial patterns in biodiversity
  • Designed primarily with undergraduate students and course lecturers in mind, it will also be of interest to anyone who requires an overview of, and entry to, the vast literature on these topics
  • All the figures included in the book are downloadable from the Blackwell Publishing website

By: Kevin J Gaston(Author), John I Spicer(Author)

191 pages, illustrations, tables


Paperback | Dec 2003 | Edition: 2 | #141168 | ISBN: 1405118571
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.50 $42/€36 approx

About this book

This primer is designed for undergraduate students taking short courses in biodiversity and aims to provide an overview of the subject, as well as acting as an entry point to the primary literature. Also of interest to ecologists and biogeographers wanting to get to grips with the main issues and concepts. The new edition is thoroughly updated and includes a new chapter on human impacts.

"[...] this excellent little book packs a big punch due to the well chosen examples and case studies, and its engaging, concise and readable style."
- Biological Conservation

" [...] the authors have amassed an excellent collection of literature related to biodiversity and conservation and a numberof good examples to illustrate the threats facing biodiversity and its potential loss. This book is an excellent basic introduction to general biodiversity fo students and teachers, as well as generalists and amateurs interested in exploring the fundamentals, uses, threats and conservation of biodiversity."
- The Glasgow Naturalist, July 2005


Concise table of contents:


1. What Is Biodiversity?
2. Biodiversity Through Time
3. Mapping Biodiversity
4. Does Biodiversity Matter?
5. Human Impacts
6. Maintaining Biodiversity


Detailed table of contents:


1. What Is Biodiversity?.
Marion Island.
What Is Biodiversity?.
Elements Of Biodiversity.
Measuring Biodiversity.
Further Reading.

2. Biodiversity Through Time:.
Sources Of Information.
A Brief History Of Biodiversity.
How Many Extant Species Are There?.
Further Reading.

3. Mapping Biodiversity:.
Issues Of Scale.
Extremes Of High And Low Diversity.
Gradients In Biodiversity.
Further Reading.

4. Does Biodiversity Matter?.
Direct Use Value.
Indirect Use Value.
Non-Use Value.
Further Reading.

5. Human Impacts:.
Species Extinctions.
Populations, Individuals And Genetic Diversity.
Threats To Biodiversity.
The Scale Of The Human Enterprise.
Further Reading.

6. Maintaining Biodiversity:.
Objectives Of The Convention.
General Measures For Conservation And Sustainable Use.
Identification And Monitoring.
In-Situ Conservation.
Ex-Situ Conservation.
Sustainable Use Of Components Of Biological Diversity.
Incentive Measures.
Reponses To The Convention.
Further Reading.


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Kevin Gaston is Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Sheffield. He has broad research interests in the fields of biodiversity, macroecology and conservation biology.

John Spicer is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth. His research interests range from the ecophysiology of marine animals through to the functional biodiversity of marine systems.

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