Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The number and variety of organisms found within a specified geographic region.
  • n. The variability among living organisms on the earth, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the diversity (number and variety of species) of plant and animal life within a region

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole)

Etymologies

From bio- +‎ diversity. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Perhaps inevitably, such an all-encompassing definition, together with the strong emotive power of the concept, has led to somewhat cavalier use of the term biodiversity, in extreme cases to refer to life or biology itself.

    Biodiversity

  • Biologists use the term biodiversity to describe the earth's stunning variety.

    The Search For Hidden Life

  • Colin: As a graduate student, I suspect the scientific community is trying to tighten its use of the term biodiversity because it encompasses many ...

    The Sietch Blog

  • Meanwhile, the aspect of Darwinian evolution of most importance for biogeography, the aspect critical for what we call biodiversity, is the idea that given a variety of individuals in a species, natural forces (environment, physiology, and so on) will make some individuals more likely to reproduce, and their genes, over the long term, more likely to predominate and shape the traits of the species.

    Dan Agin: Book Review: Here Be Dragons

  • "It is the little things, microscopic animals like nematodes, that truly run our world," said Wilson, who coined the term biodiversity decades ago.

    IPS Inter Press Service

  • Genetically engineered crops should be planted widely, the better to feed everyone effectively - 'biodiversity' is nothing more than a gaia-worshipping scam in such cases.

    Greenpeace In Mexico

  • Today, when an unscientific embrace of "biodiversity" is almost as common as the unscientific embrace of "racial purity" was a century ago, inbreeding is often portrayed as an unmitigated evil.

    The Truth About Dogs

  • But despite more than a century of the conservation movement, biodiversity is more fragile than ever.

    Conservation: Mankind must turn over a new leaf to save plants that give the planet life

  • The impact on biodiversity is not fully known as the environmental impact assessment for the project is not reliable, conservationists allege.

    Biodiversity 100: actions for Asia

  • Wetland sites should be protected under the international Ramsar Convention, but in practice Australian wetland and river biodiversity is threatened by proposed dams, such as the Tillegra Dam in New South Wales and Meander Dam in Tasmania.

    Biodiversity 100: actions for Australia

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