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Levels of Biological Diversity: a Spatial Approach to Assessment Methods


Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: IV;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: α/ β/ γ/ δ/ ε/ ω diversity | Ecological systems | CORINE | Biogeographical region | Region of development

Biological diversity, interpreted as a variety of natural and man-dominated biological and ecological systems, plays an important role in assuring their stability and can be interpreted at different spatial scales, based on the hierarchical level of the system (biocoenose/ ecosystem, biome/complex of ecosystem, biosphere/ecosphere). Literature distinguishes six levels of biodiversity, namely alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, and omega. The current paper lists methodologies appropriate for assessing diversity at each of these levels, with a particular focus on regional diversity (gamma, delta, and epsilon diversities), i.e. CORINE land cover classification and the biogeographical regions of the European Union.
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