Chapter 2. Conceptual Problems with Biodiversity

  1. Dan L. Perlman and
  2. Glenn Adelson

Published Online: 3 AUG 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444313550.ch2

Biodiversity: Exploring Values and Priorities in Conservation

Biodiversity: Exploring Values and Priorities in Conservation

How to Cite

Perlman, D. L. and Adelson, G. (1997) Conceptual Problems with Biodiversity, in Biodiversity: Exploring Values and Priorities in Conservation, Blackwell Science Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444313550.ch2

Author Information

  1. Environmental Science and Public Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 AUG 2009
  2. Published Print: 3 OCT 1997

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780865424395

Online ISBN: 9781444313550



  • conceptual problems with biodiversity;
  • multiple levels of biodiversity simultaneously;
  • ecosystem level of diversity;
  • biodiversity - exploring values and priorities in conservation;
  • tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus);
  • rethinking biodiversity assessment;
  • particulars and context - setting priorities in biodiversity conservation;
  • leave ecosystems alone as in preindustrial state


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • An Early Definition of the Term Biodiversity

  • The Problem of Considering Multiple Levels of Biodiversity Simultaneously

  • If Biodiversity Is Good, Is More Biodiversity Always Better than Less Biodiversity?

  • Does More Different Mean More Important?

  • The Worth of An Element of Biodiversity Depends on Context

  • Rethinking the Assessment of Biodiversity by Including Context and Particulars

  • Interactions among Context, Particulars, Values, and Worth

  • Exhortations

  • References