Thesis Papers: Biodiversity can be divided into three hierarchical categories—genes, species, and ecosystems—that describe quite different aspects of living systems that scientists measure in different ways

Thesis Papers: Biodiversity can be divided into three hierarchical categories—genes, species, and ecosystems—that describe quite different aspects of living systems that scientists measure in different ways

Defining and Measuring Biodiversity

Assignment Overview

As we continue to develop the relationship between economics and our natural world, we will focus on one concept that is studied regularly in ecology and has become very important in both economics and the sustainability of our planet: biodiversity.

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In order to understand the significance of economic principles in the biodiversity of our world, you must first understand what biodiversity describes. 

The following overview of biodiversity was adapted from In World Resources Institute, World Conservation Union, and United Nations Environment Programme, “Global Biodiversity Strategy,” 1992:

Biodiversity is the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region. Biodiversity can be divided into three hierarchical categories—genes, species, and ecosystems—that describe quite different aspects of living systems that scientists measure in different ways.

Genetic diversity refers to the variation of genes within species. This covers distinct populations of the same species (such as the thousands of traditional rice varieties in India) or genetic variation within a population (high among Indian rhinos, and very low among cheetahs).

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