Are biodiversity hotspots going to leave biodiversity in the cold?

In our second week of Conservation science we set out to discuss patterns of global biodiversity. But first, what is biodiversity?

There are several ways we can describe biodiversity – species diversity looks at the number of species at different scales, in a plot or in a patch of forest, functional biodiversity tackles the ecosystem scale and functions it brings, such as flood management and soil erosion. Structural diversity concerns the composition and community assemblage of biomes.

Quantifying biodiversity is key to its protection. Therefore, the following metrics have been developed to characterise species diversity – alpha, beta and gamma diversity.

Across the world we can observe gradients of biodiversity distribution. A popular theory is the hotspots vs. coldspots conservation instrument. Hotspots are regions such as tropical rainforests which are hyperdiverse and where most conservation is targeted. We, however, argue that coldspots are just as important.

by Group 1 (as a part of our rapid blogging exercise)


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