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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Beierkuhnlein, C: Die Vielfalt der Vielfalt - Ein Vorschlag zur konzeptionellen Klärung der Biodiversität, Berichte der Reinhold-Tüxen-Gesellschaft, 13, 103-118 (2001)
Until today, the term viodiversity, allthough successful in the public and in science, is not clearly defined. For some aspects of biodiversity, especially for species diversity, theories, concepts and definitions exist for decades. Nevertheless, a satisfying general framework for biodiversity has not yet been developed. This paper tries to clarify the term and develop a general concept of biodiversity. Biodiversity can be investigated at different levels of organization (e.g.: organs, organisms, communities, ecosystems, landscape, biomes). When considering the distribution of biotic units in space, different scales have to abe taken into consideration. The spatial diversity at the species level can be analysed according to species number (alpha-diversity) and resemblance of species composition (beta-diversity). More generally, three aspects of biodiversity can be identified. The basic aspect ist the variability baetween biotic objects. In this paper this is referred to as primary of qualitative biodiversity. As soon as abjects are classified using their resemblance according to certain criteria the number of types con be counted. This ist defined here as secondary or quanitative biodiversity. The third form of biodiversity emerges from the ecological complexity of biotic objects. It es regarded as tertiary of functional biodiversity.
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