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Citation for Criticism Section?[edit]

The following appears as a rebuttal in the Criticism section:

A reply to this, however, is that biodiversity conservation has never focused exclusively on visible (in this sense) species. From the very beginning, the classification and conservation of natural communities or ecosystem types has been a central part of the effort. The thought behind this has been that since invisible (in this sense) diversity is, due to lack of taxonomy, impossible to treat in the same manner as visible diversity, the best that can be done is to preserve a diversity of ecosystem types, thereby preserving as well as possible the diversity of invisible organisms. this is a very diffrent issue and we need to take care of it.

Without a citation, this reads like original research (or perhaps just someone's opinion). Does anyone have a source?

Sperrfeuer (talk) 15:10, 29 December 2008 (UTC)


Recently this page has been vandalised by 2 unregistered users i.e. IP addresses namely 71.218.132 and Apparently the former changed some dates in the evolution and meaning section, i do not know about the correct dates but since they have been reverted to an older version someone might want to check. Changing the dates themselves, be they right or wrong would probably have escaped attention. However the user also added at the bottom 'WHY WOULD YOU TRUST SOMETHING THAT ANYONE CAN CHANGE?'. As far as i am concerned this this would be considered vandalism. A few hours later, a user who had been contributing to wiki for a long time from an unregistered IP address also changed it, rather than undoing the change he added 'Cause you suck'. I have already changed it to the version prior to the vandalism. However someone might like to confirm the date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stinkypie (talkcontribs) 12:17, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Deleted comment made by user Kavoral12 who is no longer registered. The user placed a note in section on Evolution - (note: following just a theory). See Evolution as theory and fact. I'm certain that this was a vandal trying to discredit evolution through ignorance of the subject matter. Thompsma (talk) 22:39, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

References/external links[edit]

I had another shot at the references. Anybody have suggestions for potential links to be removed from "the farm"? Beetstra? Biological Diversity 23:28, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Anybody else think this edit 09:15, 18 June 2007 is sketch? Biological Diversity 20:10, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I have categorized the External Links section for clarity (although I left each link in the format used by its original contributor), and updated some URLs. I added one URL. The section is now tagged for cleanup. Any thoughts on links that could be dropped? Biological Diversity 17:20, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

E. O. Wilson quote[edit]

Have not found the english sentence for

Edward O. Wilson wrote in 1992, that :la biodiversité est l'une des plus grandes richesses de la planète, et pourtant la moins reconnue comme telle

will see later user:anthere

the senntence above literaly translates from french to english is: "The biodiversity is the one of the bigger wealths of the planet, and nevertheless the less recognized as such." Your Welcome

XanaBlade 15:31, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The term 'biodiversity'[edit]

The article credits E.O. Wilson with coining the term biodiversity in 1986, but it was my understanding that the term was coined by Thomas Lovejoy in 1980. Comments? --Jose Ramos 19:37, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I may have misunderstood one of Wilson comment. I don't remember exactly the source I used. So I looked at what I had currently at home.

The first two ones do not mention Wilson, just states the 1992 Rio conference was the moment the term really got famous. These are rather master student books.

Another one, more oriented toward patents, and more professional, mentions that "the word appeared in the middle of 80ies, at the favor of the National Forum on Biodiversity of Washington (Wilson, 1988)". It does not mention Lovejoy and rather explicitely indicate Wilson name.

Another one, rather dealing with economics as related to biodiversity, says the expression "diversité biologique = biological diversity" appeared at the beginning of the 80ies. The term "biodiversity" itself was invented during a scientific meeting in 1986, with a word game on National Forum on BioDiversity. (les Enjeux de la Biodiversité. Catherine Aubertin and Franck-Dominique Vivien, Ed Economica 1998)

Finally, I have an interview of Wilson (La Recherche 333, august 2000) himself, where he says he is wrongly credited the word biodiversity, but was just the first one to edit a book under that name. He says the word biodiversity first appeared in a report of the 1986 forum mentionned above, forum following an article Wilson had written on the topic, but where he didnot mentionned the word biodiversity. He further adds that the word biodiversity was mentionned by the forum staff, as more "commercial" than the expression "biological diversity". Wilson also says he first refused, because he found the word too american, too "flashy", but in front of their insistance, he agreed.

Since this last passage is an interview of Wilson himself, I tend to believe that version. If only to use as a citation :-)

From what I read, I would tend to imagine that the word "biological diversity" could have been coined by Lovejoy (but I insist I have no reference of that), then the word biodiversity itself by the forum staff, and the credit got to Wilson.

Comment ?


Ok, biodiversity is a short form for biological diversity. But is it really fair to say it comes from biology, rather than the extremely well-known prefix bio-?

you are absolutely right. That is certainly more accurate. I entirely agree for a change on this poin :-) fr0069
I'm not sure that I understand this comment. There seems to be no doubt that people were talking about "biological diversity" for some time before we heard the term "biodiveristy", and I can well believe that it was a simple contraction, as happens very often in our language. It is not very easy to say "biological diversity", and it is the "-ological" bit that tangles the tongue, so getting rid of it makes sense, since it eases discussion (especially after a couple of beers). My guess therefore is that the neologism was created by contraction, not by starting from scratch and adding bio- to diversity. But is the origin of this word really all that important? User:Kalense
From what I understood, it was really coined, not spontaneously appeared. The origin of the word, I do not think is important, and I did not make the difference when I wrote most of this... however, since someone came and protested, I guess it became important :-) Would you like to improve my rather bad article (I was very newbie when I wrote it, and it would really need improvement; plus it is not in good english.) SweetLittleFluffyThing

I have to admit that when I first read this article a few years ago, I was so upset with it that I could not decide what to do - and in the end did nothing. I found that so much of what it said was only half-true, naive, imprecise or just generally made me feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately it would have needed completely re-writing, and I couldn't see that that would be socially acceptable. In particular, I'm very unhappy about the definition of biodiversity. I can perhaps understand why we do not use the CBD definition, but we should at least cite it. My own definition of biodiversity is "A characteristic or property of geographical areas or volumes, habitats, ecosystems or complexes of ecosystems, evaluated at a given time by considering the variety and dependencies within and between species or other taxonomic groups, and differences in the ecological systems of which they are a part. Variety may be evaluated, for example, by the quality, range and extent of differences between organisms, or by the relative abundance of the variants weighted by their taxonomic separation. Humans and human cultures are part of and interact strongly with other organisms, and are therefore part of biodiversity." Kalense

Besides being overly wordy and putting most readers to sleep the first part of the above quote is fine, and elements of it could be added to the intro; however the last sentence is incredibly human-centric, a characteristic that retards many of wikipedia's biology articles already. Anlace 16:53, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


Should we really be stating the idea that stability increases with diversity as a fact? Guettarda 20:42, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That's how its understood among ecologists. Check this out.
Actually that link oversimplifies things. While there appears to be a relationship between diversity and stability, it remains a hot topic in ecology. From your link: Although it is a key question, the relationship between diversity and stability is still being resolved. Guettarda 16:08, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In line with this discussion the following line needs to be re-worked for NPOV. "Because an ecosystem decreases in stability as its species are made extinct, these studies warn that the global ecosystem is destined for collapse if it is further reduced in complexity." As much as I think this is the case and want this message broadcast around the world, I'm not sure it's been settled. I'm also not sure it can be settled, but that is a different argument.

Actually, much of the threats to biodiversity section is on the preachy side. I'm too tired to tackle it tonight, so if anyone is feeling ambitious, have at it. Jmeppley 05:18, 25 September 2005 (UTC)


I made this change thinking the first few lines should be for the layperson not out of any deep understanding of biology.KAM 17:41, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As one approaches polar regions one finds larger and larger populations of fewer and fewer species. . Does the article explain why this is so somewhere?KAM 14:21, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC) KAM 18:46, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


COP8 (Eight Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) 20 - 31 March / Curitiba - Brazil

need sub article called Threats to biodiversity[edit]

too much material in this subsection and it doesnt even begin to cover the subject Anlace 19:51, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Article Clean Up[edit]

This article is filled with statements such as "Mr. Maxwell Smells", "What'chu lookin' at", etc. Someone please clean this up.

Information moved from main article[edit]

Additional additions for biodiversity

he variety of all living things; a contraction of biological diversity. Biodiversity can be measured on many biological levels ranging from genetic diversity within a species to the variety of ecosystems on Earth, but the term most commonly refers to the number of different species in a defined area. Global biodiversity Recent estimates of the total number of species range from 7 to 20 million, of which only about 1.75 million species have been scientifically described. The best-studied groups include plants and vertebrates (phylum Chordata), whereas poorly described groups include fungi, nematodes, and arthropods (see table). Species that live in the ocean and in soils remain poorly known. For most groups of species, there is a gradient of increasing diversity from the Poles to the Equator, and the vast majority of species are concentrated in the tropical and subtropical regions. Numbers of extant species for selected taxonomic groups Kingdom Phylum Number of species described Estimated number of species Percent described Protista 100,000 250,000 40.0 Fungi Eumycota 80,000 1,500,000 5.3 Plantae Bryophyta 14,000 30,000 46.7

 Tracheophyta 250,000 500,000 50.0 

Animalia Nematoda 20,000 1,000,000 2.0

 Arthropoda 1,250,000 20,000,000 5.0 
 Mollusca 100,000 200,000 50.0 
 Chordata 40,000 50,000 80.0 
  • With permission modified from G. K. Meffe, and C. R. Carroll, Principles of Conservation Biology, 1997.

Human activities, such as direct harvesting of species, introduction of alien species, habitat destruction, and various forms of habitat degradation (including environmental pollution), have caused dramatic losses of biodiversity. The sixth major extinction event in geologic history is well under way. Indeed, current extinction rates are estimated to be 100-1000 times higher than prehuman extinction rates. This rapid loss of species has spurred a great deal of scientific interest in the topic of biodiversity. Currently, many biologists are working to catalog and describe extant species before they are lost. In addition, much research is focused on understanding the importance of biodiversity, particularly whether high levels of biodiversity are essential for proper functioning of ecosystems. Importance Ethical and esthetic arguments have been offered regarding the value of biodiversity and why it is necessary to guard against its reduction. Scientists, however, focus on issues such as the biological or ecological functions of biodiversity that can be addressed with experiments rather than debates about values. Certainly, some measure of biodiversity is responsible for providing essential functions and services that directly improve human life. For example, many medicines, clothing fibers, and industrial products and the vast majority of foods are derived from naturally occurring species. In addition, species are the key working parts of natural ecosystems. They are responsible for maintenance of the gaseous composition of the atmosphere, regulation of the global climate, generation and maintenance of soils, recycling of nutrients and waste products, and biological control of pest species. Ecosystems surely would not function if all species were lost, although it is unclear just how many species are necessary for an ecosystem to function properly. Thus, the current extinction crisis has provoked many scientists to ask how many species can be lost from an ecosystem before the system is negatively affected. Ecosystem function Since species are the key working parts of ecosystems, biodiversity must be related to ecosystem function. Studies have assessed this relationship in ecosystem functions such as biogeochemical processes; the flow of nutrients, water, and atmospheric gases; and the processing of energy. Evidence of the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem function is derived from comparing ecosystems that differ in the number of species present. More recently, ecologists have undertaken manipulative experiments in which the number of species has been directly varied. Two notable experimental efforts include manipulations of plant diversity in a Minnesota grassland and manipulations of species and functional diversity in microbial communities. In general, these studies have demonstrated that various measures of ecosystem function such as production of biomass and nutrient uptake increase as the number of species present increases. However, some studies report no effect or even negative relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Although some evidence supports the hypothesis that biodiversity increases or improves the overall functioning of ecosystems, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. For example, a positive relationship between species diversity and productivity could result because including more species to increases the chance of encompassing particularly productive or fast-growing species. Alternatively, a diverse group of species may use the available resources more efficiently, since each species has slightly different requirements, resulting in higher overall growth. It is unclear whether the number of species or the number of different functional types of species is driving these effects. This distinction is important because if the number of species matters most, every species that is added to an ecosystem should cause an improvement in ecosystem function (illus. a). In contrast, if the diversity of functional types is more important than the number of species per se, there will be initial increases in ecosystem function as species number rises, but these effects should level off once all of the functional types are represented (illus. b). Indeed, a nonlinear or satiating effect of species number on ecosystem processes is frequently observed (illus. b), suggesting that ecosystem function may be relatively unaffected by initial losses of species but may become severely impaired after some critical number of species is lost. Fig. Ecosystem function (a) as a positive, linear function of biodiversity and (b) as a nonlinear, satiating function of biodiversity.

Ecosystem stability A second purported benefit of biodiversity is that more diverse ecosystems may be more stable or more predictable through time when compared to species-poor ecosystems. Stability can be defined at the community level as fewer invasions and fewer extinctions, meaning that a more stable community will contain a more stable composition of species. However, stability can also be defined at the population level as reduced fluctuations in population size, meaning that a more stable population will contain a more constant number of individuals. The idea that biodiversity confers stability upon ecosystems has a long and controversial history. Early ecologists used several lines of reasoning to argue that diverse ecosystems are more stable than those with fewer species. First, attempts to create simple, low-diversity ecosystems in the laboratory tended to fail, with most or all of the species declining to extinction. Second, unpredictable or strongly cyclical population dynamics are often observed in animals that live at high latitudes, and high-latitude ecosystems generally include relatively few species. Finally, islands, which generally have fewer species than mainlands, tend to be more easily invaded by introduced species. In 1955, an additional argument was proposed in favor of a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability. With more species in an ecosystem, there are more paths through which energy and nutrients can flow; therefore, in diverse ecosystems each species should be less affected by changes in the abundance of other species, leading to higher overall stability. Thus, the general consensus among early ecologists was that more diverse ecosystems should be more stable. See also: Ecosystem; Population ecology In 1973, mathematical models of many species interacting simultaneously were used to explore the relationship between biodiversity and population stability. The major outcome was that higher species diversity led to less stable population sizes of individual species. However, the apparent conflict between these modeling results and the intuitions of earlier ecologists remained unresolved for many years. Recent studies in which the number of species has been experimentally manipulated have helped to resolve this long-standing controversy. For example, manipulations of plant diversity were used to examine not only the productivity of a grassland ecosystem but also the stability of ecosystem productivity over time. This and other studies have shown that although the abundance of individual species fluctuates more dramatically in high-diversity ecosystems, the total abundance or productivity of all species combined is actually more stable. High biodiversity decreased the stability of each species' population, lending support to mathematical modeling results, whereas the positive relationship between biodiversity and the stability of overall ecosystem productivity supports the proposals of the earlier ecologists. Although the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability is fairly clear, the mechanisms generating this pattern are not. In particular, diverse groups of species may be more stable because complementary species compensate for changes in one another's abundance. Alternatively, variation in aggregate measures such as total productivity may increase with richness due to averaging of random fluctuations in the growth of each species. Based on simple probability theory, it is expected that the more independently varying species added together, the more stable the sum of their abundances. The strength of this averaging effect depends on correlations among the species' fluctuations, but a positive relationship between biodiversity and the stability of aggregate measures of ecosystem function should usually be expected, simply due to averaging. Clearly, biodiversity is (at least sometimes) related to both the overall rates and the stability of ecosystem functions. However, documenting a relationship between biodiversity and some measure of ecosystem function or stability does not reveal its underlying cause. Current ecological research continues to explore the mechanisms by which species diversity and functional diversity contribute to ecosystem function. Species importance Some species clearly play very important roles in ecosystems. In some cases, the addition or deletion of a single species can lead to dramatic changes in ecosystem functions such as productivity or nutrient uptake. For example, the introduction of a nitrogen-fixing tree species to Hawaii resulted in substantially altered productivity and nutrient dynamics in submontane forest ecosystems. Species that exert such strong control over ecosystems are termed keystone species. It is not at all clear that most species in an ecosystem have such important effects. In other words, it may be possible to lose a number of species from an ecosystem and yet observe little overall impact on ecosystem function. This could be the case if several species that perform approximately the same function are present in the original ecosystem. The situation where multiple species play a similar role has been termed species redundancy. If species redundancy is a common phenomenon, ecosystem function should be largely independent of species diversity as long as major functional types are represented. Thus, when one species is lost from an ecosystem, some other species with a similar function may become abundant and compensate for the lost species, leaving the ecosystem as a whole relatively unaffected. Indeed, ecosystem processes often do remain stable despite large fluctuations in the abundance of the various species involved. In addition, the relationship between ecosystem function and biodiversity is often observed to be nonlinear (illus. b), suggesting that, at least initially, the loss of species would have little overall effect. The term species redundancy may seem to imply that all species are not necessary for an ecosystem to function properly. However, species redundancy may be an essential feature for the long-term health of ecosystems. Just as engineers include multiple structures with redundant functions to increase overall reliability of the final structure, ecosystems with sets of functionally redundant species may have a built-in safety net that is lacking in species-poor ecosystems. Rare species (those that occur in low abundance) may also appear to contribute relatively little to overall ecosystem functioning. However, during dramatic environmental changes, such as acidification of a lake, rare species can become very abundant, thereby compensating for reductions in other species. Even species that appear relatively unimportant because they are rare and functionally redundant with others may in fact be important in stabilizing ecosystem function during periods of rare but intense stress. The overwhelming variety of life has captivated the human imagination for centuries, so it is surprising how much scientific uncertainty currently surrounds the role of biodiversity. Ignorance probably reflects the fact that biodiversity has been taken for granted; only over the last few decades, as biodiversity's staggering decline became more apparent, did ecologists start investigating what exactly is being lost. Most experiments provide compelling evidence that at some point the erosion of biodiversity will impair ecosystem function and stability. However, these same experiments also show that a great deal of biodiversity can typically be lost with minimal effects. The value of biodiversity may well be revealed only on huge time scales that incorporate extremely infrequent but dramatic environmental challenges. If this is the case, standard short-term experiments will be unable to document the value of many species. Clearly, any failure of short-duration, small-scale experiments to identify a function for total biodiversity or for every species should not be used as a disingenuous argument to excuse human-caused extinctions. See also: Extinction (biology)

In the beginning[edit]

"to indicate the degree to which the aggregate of historical species are viable versus extinct." Can someone please explain the meaning of the sentence above? is there something wrong in it? --Alnokta 13:14, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

In definitions it says[edit]

The 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro defined "biodiversity" as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, 'inter alia', terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems". This is, in fact, the closest thing to a single legally accepted definition of biodiversity, since it is the definition adopted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The parties to this convention include all the countries on Earth, with the exception of Andorra, Brunei Darussalam, the Holy See, Iraq, Somalia, and the United States of America.

List of biodiversity topics[edit]

I've tried to organize and fill up list of biodiversity topics, please take a look and see if it anything needs fixing. Or if you don't like it, feel free to vote to delete it. Kappa 05:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


I think there should be a central article on the measurement or quantification of biodiversity, perhaps measurement of biodiversity. I see a lot of articles about the subject, but no central article on the subject. Many are very small (e.g. gamma diversity and would be best merged. Richard001 09:18, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Oppose. The present section is small enough to be part of the main article and points to a number of articles that are appropriate as standalone articles. If the "Measurement of biodiversity" section becomes too large it can then be split off into a seperate article. -- Alan Liefting talk 23:52, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
The present section is small enough, but only because it is being kept small because the whole article is so long. It could definitely be expanded. There are whole books on the measurement of biodiversity (e.g. Measuring biological diversity by Anne E. Magurran, 2002). Such an article would tie a lot of smaller ones together nicely. Richard001 (talk) 11:53, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

i think you should make this a part of the biodiverity measurment

newly added "hindrances" section[edit]

This section doesn't seem to be particularly well sourced. furthermore it isnt totally relevant because this article is about biodiversity, not humans trying to save all species of life. we should consider trimming it or deleting it. Bonus Onus 05:48, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I did some trimming, but I agree that this material is basically gratuitous, worthless and distracting from the scientific nature of this topic. I m fine with deleting the whole section. Anlace (talk) 00:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

benefits and hinderances[edit]

What is the importance of biodiversity? There are no simple answers to this question. Biodiversity itself is a complex, perhaps amorphous concept, extending from genes to ecosystems and biomes, and to interactions and processes. Moreover, how does one define "important?" There are a myriad of ways in which we value biodiversity. Our value systems range from purely economic to ecological ones. Cultural values are also prominent but rarely universal. Values of biodiversity may also exist wholly outside the human context, as is the case of inherent values of species. It is therefore easy to get overwhelmed by the question of why is biodiversity important. There are, however, ways to bring the question into focus. As in human life, sometimes how we value others comes most into focus when we are about to lose them from our lives. A friend moves to a new city or a grandparent dies. Their passage often provokes reflection upon what they meant to us and the ways in which they were important to us. In other words, we sometimes can most easily articulate the value of something to us when we are about to lose it. Similarly, many wild species are about to depart from our lives, and their passage can force us to come to grip with whether their extinction and hence their existence has value to us or not. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) maintains a list of imperiled or extinct species that can serve as a useful point of discussion on why is biodiversity important. The list, known as the "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species", is being compiled for species all over the world. It is relatively easy to get a list of all the species known to be currently threatened with extinction in your country, to become familiar with some of these species, and then to ask, individually and as a group, is their fate important to us and how? by mmari godlisten UDSM (2007)


Oppose Each topic too big for sensible long term outcome. Anlace (talk) 00:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


The idea cited in the article by a tag is basically a good one, but it should be viewed as a subarticle and not really a split. Anlace (talk) 00:36, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

See #Measurement for discussion of this. A split is a bad word (but see what split links to!), it would certainly be a subarticle. Richard001 (talk) 11:49, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Hindrances section[edit]

This section is gross, IMO. Can somebody rephrase it in less "die humans" manner? (talk) 09:12, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't know where to post a new section unfortunately, but the benefits of Biodiversity section summary lacks any citations. "Biodiversity is also central to an ecocentric philosophy. It is important for contemporary audiences to understand the reasons for believing in conservation of biodiversity. One way to identify the reasons why we believe in it is to look at what we get from biological diversity and the things that we lose as a result of species extinction, which has taken place over the last 600 years. Mass extinction is the direct result of human activity and not of natural phenomena which is the perception of many modern day thinkers." This is a controversial thing that probably needs some sort of proof.

This is followed by the following: "There are many benefits that are obtained from natural ecosystem processes. Some ecosystem services that benefit society are air quality, climate (both global Co2 sequestration and regional and local), water purification, disease control, biological pest control, pollination and prevention of erosion. Along with those come non- material benefits that are obtained from ecosystems which are spiritual and aesthetic values, knowledge systems and the value of education that we obtain today." This is completely irrelevant to the topic of biodiversity, since those would occur with only a few species as well. (talk) 00:42, 14 May 2008 (UTC)anon (new)

Destruction of habitats[edit]

I suggest adding this sentence at the beginning of the second paragraph, just before "Some characterize loss of biodiversity": "There are systematic relationships between the area of a habitat and the number of species it can support, with greater sensitivity to reduction in habitat area for species of larger body size and for those living at lower latitudes or in forests or oceans. [1] Coppertwig (talk) 00:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Stina Drakare, Jack J. Lennon, Helmut Hillebrand (2006) The imprint of the geographical, evolutionary and ecological context on species-area relationships Ecology Letters 9 (2) , 215-227 doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00848.x

Conservation Biology Section[edit]

I revised the section on conservation biology and made a section of the text invisible because it wasn't referenced and it was incorrect. I am a conservation biologist with a masters degree in zoology and have been actively reading and researching this topic for well over 15 years. I also work full-time as a geneticist, research amphibian demographic ecology, and run a non-profit conservation society. I have updated then written most of the recent page on Conservation Biology and so I gave a brief summary in this section with lots of linked reference material. I will keep watching and reading this site to make certain there isn't too much overlap and repeat. I will also return to tinker and comment - this is a great article! Thompsma (talk) 06:12, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Size Bias Section[edit]

I removed the following sentences (They were not referenced nor of a neutral point of view):

A reply to this, however, is that biodiversity conservation has never focused exclusively on visible (in this sense) species. From the very beginning, the classification and conservation of natural communities or ecosystem types has been a central part of the effort. The thought behind this has been that since invisible (in this sense) diversity is, due to lack of taxonomy, impossible to treat in the same manner as visible diversity, the best that can be done is to preserve a diversity of ecosystem types, thereby preserving as well as possible the diversity of invisible organisms.[citation needed] Thompsma (talk) 06:48, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Sections on Medicine / Health, and Industry[edit]

Hello all. I have made a few changes to this article as follows:

The section that was titled "Science and Medicine" has been expanded. Medicinal values of biodiversity are only a small part of the wider relevance of biodiversity to human health, and so I have added in some of these additional details with references. However, the issue of medicinal resources is important not only from a health perspective but because of economic implications, and it is an area readily recognisable to most people without a technical background on the topic. Therefore I have retained and slightly expanded the sentences on medicines, and added qualifying references. I have also changed the title of the section to "Human Health" - I think the issue of scientific discovery relating to biodiversity is massive and was not adequately covered in the section, so the title was misleading. I think a separate section on the scientific benefits of biodiversity (be it for medical science, drug discovery, industrial and commercial appplications, food production etc) might be warranted.

Also, I have altered the section that was titled "Industrial Materials". The benefits of biodiversity to industry and economies goes far beyond industrial materials and warrants coverage in this article, so I have framed the existing sentences into a broader section now titled "Business and Industry", and added additional references. Having said that, the economics of biodiversity is a rapidly growing area of research and policy, so perhaps a separate article on this topic is warranted?

Anyone have other thoughts? Mudpuddles1418 (talk) 19:19, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Biodiversity animal databases[edit]

Can biodiversity animal databases be mentioned as a tool to conserve the biodiversity ? For axample the freshwater animal diversity assessment ( is a database to help conserve fresh water animals.

Perhaps the encyclopedia of life is also a useful tool ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:10, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, KVDP —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

biodviserity measurement[edit]

it should be decribed that the 2 main indicators for determining the biodiversity are=

  • the amount of different species
  • the species richness

the 1st is not described in the article; include in article —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


Viruses are not mentioned. In the book what's next by Max Brockman, Nathan Wolfe describes the function of viruses in the biosphere —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


I added the weasel tag, specifically because of the section on humans. It is largely uncited and employs emotional words with no basis (devastated being used twice in the following quote alone):

Biodiversity is being devastated[citation needed] by the world population increase since the Industrial Revolution began less than two hundred years ago; the population is 13 times as great as it was then with 6.7 billion now and 0.5 billion people in 1850[citation needed]. To feed such a large population, more land is being transformed from wilderness with wildlife into agricultural, mining, lumbering, and urban areas for humans[citation needed]. Possibly worse than the loss of habitat for wildlife is the large amount of pesticide used to protect human foods grown[citation needed]; most bird species may disappear within 100 years[citation needed] and when they go the trees and plants they protect, by eating insects to stop mass infestation, may be devastated and destroyed[citation needed]. Loss of forests would in turn lead to mass erosion[citation needed], mass flooding[citation needed] and loss of oxygen in our atmosphere[citation needed].

Added text[edit]

Added some text at #Exotic species and a small chapter (which needs more referencing, ...) This text included: ===Means=== One of the strategies involves placing a monetary value on biodiversity through [[biodiversity banking]], of which one example is the Australian [[Native Vegetation Management Framework]]. Other approaches are the creation of [[gene bank]]s, aswell as the creation of [[gene bank]]s that have the intention of growing the indiginous species for reintroduction to the ecosystem (eg via tree nurseries, ...)<ref>[ Belgium creating 45 "seed gardens"; gene banks with intent to reintroduction]</ref>Other measures contributing to the preservation of biodiversity include: the reduction of pesticide use and/or a switching to organic pesticides, ... These measures however, are of less importance than the preserving of rural lands, reintroduction of indiginous species and the removal of exotic species. ===Strategies=== As noted above (Distribution), biodiversity is not as rich everywhere on the planet. Regions as the tropics and subtropics are considerably much richer in biodiversity than regions in temperate climates. In addition, in temperate climates, allot of countries are located which are already vastly urbanised, and require -in addition- great amounts of space for the growing of crops. As rehabilitating the biodiversity within these countries would again require the clearing and redeveloping of spaces, it has been proposed of some that efforts are best instead directed unto the tropics. Arguments include economics, it would be far less costly and more efficient to preserve the biodiversity in the tropics, especially as many countries in these areas are only now beginning to urbanise.<ref>[ Economics of biodiversity]</ref> However, only directing the efforts unto these areas would not be enough, as many species still need to migrate at certain times of the year, requiring a connection to other regions/countries. In the more urbanised countries in temperate climates, this would mean that [[wildlife corridor]]s need to be made. However, making wildlife corridors would still be considerably cheaper and easier than clearing/preserving entirely new areas.

Please don't remove, but improve text and add references Thanks, KVDP (talk) 09:07, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Biodiversity losses[edit]

I found that the losses in natural species will be at 30%

however "biodiversity" (I'm guessing more in the sense of the "total number of organisms, composed from the the species types and their population number) is only set to 7% by 2050. Not sure it's worth mentioning this. (see ) KVDP (talk) 11:14, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Two definition sections[edit]

There are two definition sections in the article. -- Extra999 (talk) 20:20, 15 February 2010

Info about sustainable biodiversity management[edit]

-- (talk) 07:11, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 07:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 07:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)


The section covers only some of the items it lists in its intro paragraph, and adds some that it does not address. Someone needs to address the chaos. Lfstevens (talk) 03:11, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Invasive and introduced species[edit]

Invasive and introduced species are different concepts, though connected. I think we all have clear the notion of what an invasive species is, since invasion is a commonly used name, and it is also applied to what men has done to other men along history. Introduction is also very simple and clear concept. So then why we mix them? I know native species that are pretty invasive, yesterday I was fighting with one of these, that had invaded a plot of planted (native) trees. I agree that native invasives are not to be treated in the same footing as introduced invasives. But also mind that introduced non invasive do not deserve the same treatment as introduced invasive.

In Wikipedia each concept has its own article: Introduced species and Invasive species. So, I think it would be beneficial to change the content of the section we are discussing, to make it consistent with these two main articles, an the distinction of both concepts.--Auró (talk) 18:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree, it would be better not to confuse the two concepts. All invasives are introduced, but not all introduced species are listed as invasive by biologists or governments. Please go ahead and do what you can to make this distinction clearer and thereby make the section more informative.--Brambleshire (talk) 19:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

importance of biodiversity[edit]

When we talk about biodiversity importance, even those miniscule organisms which we can't see with our naked eye play a crucial role in smooth functioning of the ecosystem. For instance, a basic requirement for plant growth, nitrogen, is produced by the nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil. If these bacteria species became extinct, the plants will have no nitrogen to grow, and this will result in the devastation of the agricultural sector. Wild animals encroach upon human habitation owing to loss of habitat and scarcity of food, both of which are caused as a result of human encroachment in their natural habitat.

At the end of the day, biological diversity is undoubtedly one of the most important components of the ecosystem. That being said, the onus is on us to understand the importance of biodiversity conservation, and implement wildlife conservation measures to save our ecosystem. A rubber band tends to stretch as long as we pull it, but there comes a point of time when it snaps and hurts our own hand. The behavior of nature is not much different, and the more we try to stretch it, the more severe will be its impact on our lives when it snaps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chaitanyagayakwad (talkcontribs) 07:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

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Indigenous fauna/flora greatly outnumbered[edit]

In section 8.2, Introduced and invasive species there is the following assertion: At present, several countries have already imported so many exotic species, that the own indigenous fauna/flora is greatly outnumbered This statement is only supported in the following example: For example, in Belgium, only 5% of the indigenous trees remain.[1][2]

Which is based in the following references (in Dutch language)

I find this paragraph unfortunate, let me explain why:

- What does it mean exactly "only 5% of indigenous trees remain"?

a) Only 5% of the tree species that were present at year x remain now.

b) In the present inventory of tree species the native ones represent only 5% of the total.

Furthermore, apart of native and introduced, there are naturalized species. These are the ones that were introduced in historic times, by Romans or even earlier. Most of the fruit trees are of this type. Are fruit trees also considered in the 95% of introduced?

A clear distinction exists between forest trees and ornamental trees, between those found in forests and wilderness, and those found in city streets and parks, or private gardens. We are in an article about biodiversity, I think all these distinctions matter.

I have just made an article for the Catalan Wikipedia, "List of forest species(tree and shrubs) of Catalan Countries (Paisos Catalans)" The statistics is

Native 71%

Introduced 17%

Naturalized 12%

I would appreciate if someone knowing Dutch language could clarify these questions, based on the references.Auró (talk) 23:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Planetary boundaries[edit]

Add The number of species becoming extinct per million per year is a measure of biodiversity loss that is one of the Planetary boundaries. (talk) 03:43, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Why? (This one is even more suspicious than the rest of the "Planetary boundaries" spam, as extinction is only negatively correlated with biodiversity; biodiversity can be damaged without extinctions, as loss of regional subspecies cannot rationally be considered "extinction", but does result in a loss of biodiversity.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that Original Research Special:Contributions/Arthur Rubin? See
You're advertising the topic, just as you were advertising when I first noticed you. However, even assuming it were an appropriate topic to link, extinction or extinction event would be the more appropriate articles to spam pointers to this alleged planetary boundary. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Why would extinction be more appropriate as per Talk:Planetary boundaries Biodiversity is a "Planetary Boundary"? (talk) 21:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Without a better article (and I for one cannot think one), I suggest reverting the revert. (talk) 01:11, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that the concept of planetary boundaries, and which parameters are more or less critical to them, are subjects that need a lot of discussion in the scientific community before such general statements as are introduced in several Wikipedia articles may be done.Auró (talk) 21:52, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I think ...? Do you have a reference, instead of wp:NOR? (talk) 04:26, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Do you? The only place the term "planetary boundaries" has occurred is in one Scientific American article. That would be an WP:RS toward accuracy, but not toward notability. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:29, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Again, I think that a discussion page is a place where opinions are admitted, but article pages a place to put well established facts. Auró (talk) 13:02, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Science is about continual never-ending reassessment of the facts (the Scientific method). Just because there may be more scientific discussion does not mean Planetary boundaries can not be linked, if properly written. (talk) 02:52, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Revised Planetary boundaries has "Extinction rate (number of species per million per year)" for Control variable. (talk) 23:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Still no reason for inclusion. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:14, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Actually, Rubin, however awkwardly IPs state their case here and elsewhere, it is you who comes across as the POV warrior. It is time you came clean and explained where the obsessive flurry of obstructive edits you make on planetary boundaries comes from. There is nothing I can find in the literature to support your position, apart from some throwaway comments made by Stuart Pimm when the concept was first floated. And I note that Pimm does not appear to have repeated or expanded his objections, and it may be that it is Pimm who has the egg on his face. Are you coming from a religious fundamentalist position? Or is it just that you genuinely believe, that even if God if not looking after all of this for you, then everything is going to be fine anyway, because that is what you want, and that the concept of habitable boundaries must therefore be nonsense? If these comments misrepresent your position, then it is long overdue for you to explain and justify just what your position really is. Can you do that? If not, then soon I'm going to start reverting your more eccentric and dysfunctional edits. You are bringing administrators into disrepute behaving this way. --Epipelagic (talk) 08:13, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Habitat destruction[edit]

"While most threatened species are not food species, their biomass is converted into human food when their habitat is transformed into pasture, cropland, and orchards."

This is sloppy at best, wrong at worst.

  • Not all the species biomass will remain in the habitat
  • Not all that remains will become crop
  • Not all crops are food crop
  • Not all food crop is eaten.

The following sentence I found very unlikely on its face, checking the citation, it is not supported so I have removed it.

"It is estimated that more than a third of the earth's biomass[rmf 1] is tied up in humans, livestock and crop species. "

  1. ^ "Astrobio paper on biomass Distribution". 2002-03-15. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 

Rich Farmbrough, 10:21, 5 April 2011 (UTC).

The reference given is now available online and does not even vaguely address the claim "While most threatened species are not food species, their biomass is converted into human food when their habitat is transformed into pasture, cropland, and orchards.[rmf1 1]"
  1. ^ Laurance WF. et al., 1999 Relationship between soils and Amazon forest biomass: a landscape-scale study. Forest Ecology and Management. 118:127-138.
Therefore I have removed this statement also. Rich Farmbrough, 10:24, 5 April 2011 (UTC).

Mention indiginous peoples ?[edit]

I was wondering whether indiginous peoples can be mentioned as a tool to police biodiversity hotspots. Some ethnic groups have expressed willingness to act as a "forest police" to protect a zone from illegal logging, dumping of waste, ...

See (talk) 07:47, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Resource; * The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands, and Indigenous Peoples Meet ISBN 978-0670022519 by Eugene Linden. (talk) 21:04, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Also of interest maybe Environmental migrant. (talk) 21:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
See Overshoot (ecology) and Risks to civilization, humans. (talk) 04:34, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

As a general point, is there not clear evidence of humans increasing biodiversity in several areas - especially the biological hotspots? For example the Peruvian Andes - see Potato Park - have ten thousand years of human intervention leading to 4,000 varieties of potatoes.

Humanity has been a significant part of ecosystems for possibly two million years. I cannot believe it is all negative. Are tropical forests as they are because of humans? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

I don't know if Terra preta relates to that, i.e. did it increase biodiversity or have no significant effect. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:07, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Resource: book Driven to Extinction: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity (American Museum of Natural History) by Dr. Richard Pearson[edit]

Resource: book Driven to Extinction: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity, ISBN 978-1402772238 by Dr. Richard Pearson scientist at the American Museum of Natural History with a PhD from Oxford University on the Effects of global warming on biodiversity, funded by grants from NASA and the National Science Foundation, published in Nature (journal) amoung others. (talk) 21:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

flora and fauna[edit]

The words "flora and fauna" were changed to "animals, fungi and plants" and, subsequently, changed back with the comment "flora and fauna cover it well". That is not correct. Biodiversity refers to all forms of life. Flora and fauna refer, respectively, to plants and animals. Fungi are neither. They belong in their own separate biological kingdom which has been widely recognized since at least the 1970s. Using the words "flora and fauna" as a shorthand for biodiversity is thus out-dated, inaccurate, misleading and inappropriate for an encyclopaedia. Various words analogous to flora and fauna have been proposed for the fungi, including "funga", "mycobiota" and "mycota", but there seem to be no similar words for the other biological kingdoms (Chromista, Protozoa etc.), so using such terms tends to exclude them, making consideration of the true extent of biodiversity more difficult. The phrase "animals, fungi and plants" is thus a significant improvement on "flora and fauna", and it leaves the door, so to speak, open for consideration also of the other biological kingdoms. Alphabetical order is non-judgemental and avoids arguments about relative importance of the biological kingdoms. I propose therefore to change "flora and fauna" back again to "animals, fungi and plants". Middgeaugh-Botteaugh (talk) 18:52, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

To summarise my reply on Vsmith's talk page, the phrase 'flora and fauna' (not the individual terms) are sometimes used to cover 'all living things' whereas 'animals, fungi and plants' is too specific, missing out most microorganisms. However, I've piped a link to biota (ecology) for that use of 'flora and fauna' so that it's clear that it's being used in the broad rather than the strict sense. Mikenorton (talk) 21:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Add Bioversity International wikilink.[edit]

Add Bioversity International wikilink. (talk) 07:10, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

"Greater Health"?[edit]

This quote is from the first paragraph of the article: "Greater biodiversity implies greater health." What does that mean? In whose opinion does biodiversity imply health? What kind of health? This really confused me. Shouldn't there be a citation here at the very least? Further, the very next sentence goes on to say that: "Biodiversity is in part a function of climate." Doesn't that contradict the previous sentence? An arctic climate with less biodiversity is "less healthy" than another climate? I'm just not sure I understand what is being implied here. I think it should be removed or rephrased so that it makes sense. -- (talk) 20:25, 30 July 2011 (UTC) The uncited sentence will be removed if there are no objections. -- (talk) 23:25, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

I opened this page to raise the same point. Bioviversity is not a measure of health. Low biodiversity environments - such as arctic or desert environments - are not necessarily unhealthy. Similarly, it is possible that a high biodiversity area is not necessarily healthy - weed infested heathland perhaps? Eanut (talk) 04:03, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
The health of an ecosystem or the ecological health is a basic concept in present day ecology. There is an article devoted to it. I have added the link to that page.--Auró (talk) 23:07, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Coffee Rust Virus Resistance Citation[edit]

Either hamster cells are more applicable to plant viral resistance screening than I thought or the citation related to resistance to the coffee rust virus is not on the subject for which it is cited. (talk)

Where reference best used in Wikipedia?[edit] (talk) 17:24, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

How 'bout you decide. Write up some content and add it to the article of your choice. You do the work, rather than just spamming talk pages with links. Vsmith (talk) 20:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Vsmith, you decide, since loss of biodiversity triage is "Irrelevant" or "Inappropriate" to any related article ... apparent Wikipedia:IDON'TLIKE, likely wp:COI. (talk) 07:59, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll ask you, once, to revert that comment, per WP:AGF, and possibly WP:OUTING, or I'll request a block of your ISP. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:36, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

List of countries with biodiversity articles[edit]

I just created a new list: List of countries with biodiversity articles - and it's still a work in progress since I found out the links won't red link if the section doesn't exist.

Anyway, if you have any opinion about whether this is helpful:

  • As a list, like List of countries with biodiversity articles (with the assumption that only the articles that discuss Biodiversity will be called out
  • A category by continent of countries that discuss biodiversity
  • Not helpful in either day

... would you mind voicing your opinion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of countries with biodiversity articles? Thanks!--CaroleHenson (talk) 17:13, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Species loss rate section[edit]

This section begins with an interesting quotation from James Lovelock, but it has little relevance for the section. In fact it would be very well suited for an article about climatic change, among others. My proposal is to suppress the quotation.--Auró (talk) 19:05, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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