The invention of biodiversity: social perspectives on the management of biological variety in Africa'.

P. Richards, J. Guyer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    52 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Biodiversity means, in its broadest sense, the variety of life. More specifically it can refer to the number of species, genetic diversity or the variety of environments in which species or genes are to be found. The concept is in some ways an odd one, since biodiversity is quantitative without necessarily being quantifiable. As an object of study biodiversity is a bit like an iceberg—most of it is hidden from view, and (like the underwater portion of an iceberg) indefinite in shape and extent. The notion of global species biodiversity is often expressed in the form (estimates vary): 1·5 million species known to science, 5 million (or 30 million) yet remaining to be discovered (Primack, 1993). The rider to this surprising formulation is that most of the unknown species are probably insects in the tropical rain forest.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    JournalAfrica
    Volume66
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

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