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The Evolution of Biodiversity: Richness and Disparity

  • James W. Valentine (a1)


The study of biodiversity can be divided into two major aspects. One aspect is concerned with the numbers of species, genera, families, or other taxonomic units that are present within a given group of organisms, or a given region, or during a given period of time. This measure of diversity is termed richness. Richness may be represented at any geographic scale: local, such as the number of species in your backyard; regional, such as the number of species found in California; or global, such as the number of species in the entire world at present. Preservation of species richness in the present biosphere is clearly a matter of great social and scientific concern. Each species has a unique genetic makeup, and a distinctive place within an ecosystem. If a species is lost, the unique genes are also lost, and the effects on the ecosystem can be destabilizing, affecting the well-being of still other species.



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The Evolution of Biodiversity: Richness and Disparity

  • James W. Valentine (a1)


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