Academic journal article Georgia Journal of Ecological Anthropology

Biodiversity Revisited

Academic journal article Georgia Journal of Ecological Anthropology

Biodiversity Revisited

Article excerpt

Biodiversity Revisited Biodiversity II. Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson, and Edward O. Wilson (eds.) Joseph Henry Press. 1997. 551 pp. $34.95 (cloth)

The publication of BioDiversity (Wilson and Peters 1988) brought into being a word for which both scientists and the general public had been eagerly seeking. All of a sudden there was a term explaining exactly what was being lost by the growing extinction crisis. Biodiversity's rapid rise to prominence as a buzzword in not only scientific but also pseudoscientifc and green circles demonstrated the need to succinctly express what was disappearing from a biosphere that supports almost six billion humans. Today the book still stands as an important milestone in defining the issues at hand, yet the need to develop concrete strategies to deal with the loss of biodiversity has resulted in a sequel, entitled Biodiversity II.

The new volume devotes a few pages to restating points made in BioDiversity and then moves on into new realms. A careful balance is achieved between sections that deal mainly with quantitative assessment (such as Part II. Patterns of the Biosphere: How Much Biodiversity is There?) and more qualitative attempts at problem solving (e.g. Pan V. Building Towards a Solution: New Directions and Applications). Several papers are devoted to a renewed call for training scientists in systematics, a welcome move away from reductionism in the biological sciences. …

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