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What exactly is Biodiversity?

  1. Dec 5, 2005 #1
    It's such an all-encompassing word.

    We can have variation in species, genetic makeup, ecosystem, and so many other factors? Can any of you guys think up a good definition that might best describe what biodiversity is?

    So far I have:

    Variation in
    - species
    - genes
    - landscape
    - functional
    - interaction
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2005 #2


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    It seems relatively self-explanatory...diversity of biological organisms. :smile: And, yes, any and all of those factors would be included under the umbrella of biodiversity.
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #3


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    I imagine 500 or so million years ago all life existing upon the top fold of a cusp castrophe near a bifurcation point. Something happen pushing life past a critical point. Disparte animal clanads abruptly emerge upon the bottom fold. From this perspective, I suggest biodiversity is a reflection of such bifurcation points in living systems. Although surely much of evolution is gradual, I suspect less-apparent bufurcation points are nevertheless present.
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #4
    First Arctangent, I would highly recommend that you get a copy of the book by E. O. Wilson titled: The Diversity of Life, 1992.
    Next, here is how Dr. Wilson defines the concept "biodiversity":
    The variety of organisms considered at all levels, from genetic variants belonging to the same species through arrays of species to arrays of genera, families, and still higher taxonomic levels; includes the variety of ecosystems, which comprise both the communities of organisms within particular habitats and the physical conditions under which they live.
    You will find in this definition many ways to add to your preliminary list of defining variables.
  6. Dec 6, 2005 #5
    Wow, thanks Rade. That's a really nice way of putting that. And right on time to put another book on my xmas list!
  7. Dec 7, 2005 #6
    heh now think about our computer age in which people try to make simulatios of ecosystems
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