Thesis Papers: What is Biodiversity
Species diversity refers to the variety of species within a region. Such diversity can be measured in many ways, and scientists have not settled on a single best method. The number of species in a region—its species “richness”—is one often-used measure, but a more precise measurement, “taxonomic diversity,” also considers the relationship of species to each other. For example, an island with two species of birds and one species of lizard has a greater taxonomic diversity than an island with three species of birds but no lizards.
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Ecosystem diversity is harder to measure than species or genetic diversity because the “boundaries” of communities—associations of species—and ecosystems are elusive. Nevertheless, as long as a consistent set of criteria is used to define communities and ecosystems, their numbers and distribution can be measured.
For additional resources on biodiversity read the article link What is Biodiversity from the National Foundation for Wildlife and Biodiversity from the National Geographic Society. For an in-depth review of how biodiversity is measured read the article on Getting the Measure of Biodiversity . These resources will help you address the questions in the following Case Assignment.