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Encyclopedia of Biodiversity - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122268656

Encyclopedia of Biodiversity

1st Edition

Editor in Chief: Samuel. M Scheiner
Hardcover ISBN: 9780122268656
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 25th October 2000
Page Count: 4666


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First used in 1980, "biodiversity" often describes the abundance, variety, and genetic constitution of native animals and plants, and has been linked with politics and environmental technology. Although the 1986 National forum on biodiversity brought issues of biodiversity to the fore, the inescapable need to know more about the diversity of life on Earth continues to remain unmet.
In recent years, biodiversity has influenced important scientific considerations, international agreements, conventions, conservation initiatives, political debates, and socio-economic implications. Knowledge derived from the study of biodiversity will affect the quality of life enjoyed in the future by influencing decision-making processes and aiding new discoveries.
The science of biodiversity has become the science of our future. Our awareness of the loss of biodiversity has brought a long overdue appreciation of the magnitude of our loss and a determination to develop the tools to protect our future. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity brings together, for the first time, a study of the dimensions of diversity. It examination of the services biodiversity provides, and measures to protect it. Major themes of the work include the evolution of biodiversity, systems for classifying and defining biodiversity, ecological patterns and theories of biodiversity, and an assessment of contemporary patterns and trends in biodiversity.

Key Features

NEW e-updates to this 5-Volume Set on ScienceDirect!

Updates include 21 entirely new articles, 22 updated articles, with 335 articles in total! (more) This reference is also sold as an e-book via ScienceDirect.

  • Distinguished Editorial Board headed by Simon A. Levin, with many other prominent scientists serving as editors
  • More than 300 separate articles, covering 20 different subject areas, from Evolution to Habitats to Economic Issues--all original contributions commissioned for this work
  • Articles by leading authors from major institutions of science around the world
  • Approximately 1,000 figures and tables complement the text
  • More than 3,000 glossary entries explain key terms


University, research, and special libraries; non-profit groups working in biodiversity-related areas; industries with an interest in preserving and utilizing natural resources, from timber and chemical corporations to insurance companies; fish and wildlife exploiters, protectors, and regulators; zoos, zoological societies, and natural history museums


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2000
25th October 2000
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Editor in Chief

Samuel. M Scheiner

Sam Scheiner is a theoretical biologist with work in various areas of evolution, ecology, and general biology. In evolution, he works on modeling phenotypic plasticity and the use of structural equation modeling for measuring trait relationships and natural selection. In ecology, he works on macroecological patterns of diversity, species richness relationships, and diversity metrics. In general biology, he is developing a set of general theories encompassing all of biology. He currently serves as a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Previously he was an Associate Professor at Arizona State University West, and Assistant and Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University, and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona. He received his BA, MS and PhD from the University of Chicago and is a AAAS Fellow.

Affiliations and Expertise

Sam Scheiner is a theoretical biologist with work in various areas of evolution, ecology, and general biology.


"Compiled by a virtual who's who in the field of conservation science, the Encyclopedia of Biodiversity highlights the critical importance of biodiversity and illustrates why all thinking people should care about stemming the loss of our natural heritage." --John Sawhill, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy

"This encyclopedia is a worthwhile investment for anyone in need of a scholarly reference source devoted to biodiversity and related preservation issues. There are no other current encyclopedias that provide comparable in-depth coverage of this increasingly important topic. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity is particularly recommended for special and academic libraries. For a limited period, access to an upcoming online version is included in the purchase of the print set." --American Library Association

"Five volumes contain 313 signed articles by leading international authors. From the preface: "The entries...have been arranged alphabetically, but the coverage is designed functionally. At the core is a comprehensive survey of biodiversity, across taxonomic groups and ecological regions. The emergence of biodiversity is then placed in an evolutionary perspective, as background for an understanding of current trends. Finally, a review is given of institutions and other mechanisms that exist and are needed for the preservation of biodiversity...." The "contents by subject" listing groups entries according to theme, among them: agriculture, conservation and restoration, economics, environmental conditions and effects, evolution, extinctions, genetics, geographic and global issues, habitats and ecosystems, human effects and interventions, and population issues. Each entry is carefully constructed, with an outline, a glossary, a summary, cross references, and a bibliography accompanying the main body of text. Purchase of the print version confers access to the complementary web site." --Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

"With an authoritative, wide-ranging and engaging approach to biodiversity an sustainability, the Encyclopedia does and excellent job of synthesising material of many different kinds so as to advance our understanding of ecological systems." --Murray Gell-mann, The Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA

"My participation in the development of this Encyclopedia has been a very encouraging experience, particularly in providing an opportunity to see how broadly interest in biodiversity has spread. The Encyclopedia has deliberately been organised [sic] in a most inclusive way, and this will help people of all backgrounds learn more about their world and the other living things they share it with." --Sir Robert May, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government

"A scholarly resource for understanding this exceptional and living planet we call solid and authoritative no library should be without." --Thomas E. Lovejoy, Chief Biodiversity Advisor, The World Bank

"The viability of any twenty-first century politics will hinge on its effective grasp of the principles of biodiversity. The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, a clarification of key concepts in five volumes, will prove to be a terrific source for scholars, activists, and decision makers." --Barry Lopez, Author of Arctic Dreams

"...There are no other current encyclopedias that provide comparable in-depth coverage of this increasingly important topic..."  --Booklist

"...This unique set provides an excellent overview of many aspects of this important concept...Impressive in content and organization..." --Choice

Ratings and Reviews