What Biodiversity Is Not


The Term is More Symbolic than Literal

Biodiversity is often held up as our purpose when we protect nature. It’s a great metric that captures a lot about what we love in our best wilderness, but it’s trickier than you might think. I have a lot of fun tearing into the odd ways that the metric breaks down. (This is a different paradox than the species problem I mentioned in earlier blog posts, although I mention that in passing too.)

In my discussion of biodiversity, I question why we would want biodiveristy. After we refresh ourselves on what the point is, I explore some of the fallacies and problems with using biodiversity to capture healthy environments. Is “land with the most species” actually what we mean when we say we want to preserve biodiversity? Or do we want less species, but more rare ones? What do the best conditions for maximum biodiversity look like?

I follow up with some thoughts on climate change and some suprising ways biodiversity has changed through time.

Mostly I want you to come away thinking that biodiversity is not what you thought it was. It’s more important and more complex than you might immediately recognize. Yet increasing average biodiversity is not exactly what we want to achieve.

(Exploring what biodiversity really means.)

Average Biodiversity is not the same as Total Biodiversity is not the same as Biomass