Exploring the Wonders of Biodiversity

What is Biodiversity? In addition to the various species that exist today and their distinct evolutionary histories, biodiversity also refers to genetic variety both within and across species populations as well as the distribution of species over entire continents or seas as well as local habitats, ecosystems, and landscapes. Managers and policymakers must try to integrate the values of biodiversity into their strategies for managing land and water, so they must have a clear understanding of what biodiversity is and what it means. We cannot fully appreciate the quantities of information that need to be taken into account unless we have a thorough understanding of all the interrelated scientific aspects of biodiversity that are discussed in this chapter. Options for managing biodiversity are necessarily limited by a confluence of social and biological constraints. The biological knowledge of biodiversity that we give in this chapter serves as the foundation for the subsequent