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Addresses a number of key questions surrounding this key concept, focusing on the definitions of biodiversity and what these mean when it comes to quantifying this term. Considers such questions as: Is biodiversity just the number of species in an area? Should biodiversity measures include interspecific genetic variance? Do some species contribute more than others to the biodiversity of an area? Are there useful indicators of areas where biodiversity is high?
Conceptual aspects of the quantification of the extent of biological diversity. Biodiversity at the molecular level: the domains, kingdoms and phyla of life. The quantification of plant dioversity through time. Phylogenetic pattern and the quantification of organismal biodiversity. Biodiversity at the molecular genetic level: experiences from disparate macroorganisms. Theoretical and practical aspects of the quantification of biodiversity among microorganisms. Selecting indicator taxa for the quantitative assessment of biodiversity. The quantification of biodiversity: an esoteric quest or a vital component of sustainable development. A comparison of the efficiency of higher taxa and species numbers in the assessment of the biodiversity in the neotropics. Estimating terrestrial biodiversity through extrapolation. Practical approaches to the estimation of the extent of biodiversity in speciose groups.
This is important reading for anyone involved with teaching biology at A level or above. It is crammed with thoughts which cannot do anything but provoke worthwhile projects and ideas and enable more sensitive handling of them. Buy the book, borrow, beg or steal it - now! - Teaching Statistics; This is not a coordinated compendium of simple answers ... but it is an account of biologists groping urgently for new approaches to an increasingly pressing problem. - Biologist; This is a useful book and one that I shall refer to regularly in my work. I recommend it for those working on biodiversity assessment. - British Ecological Society; This is important reading for anyone involved with teaching biology at A level or above. It is crammed with thoughts which cannot do anything but provoke worthwhile projects and ideas and enable more sensitive handling of them. But the book, borrow, beg or steal it - now! - Teaching statistics 'This volume is the same as other similar joint efforts: cheap, accesible, completely up-to-date, and tightly edited.' Biodiversity Letters, 3 (1996)