This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, along with the importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values). The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.
This module appears in the following module collections.
BSc Wildlife Conservation
BA Environmental Social Sciences
BSc Human Geography
Also available as a wild module
Method of assessment
Poster Presentation (30%)
Examination, 2 hour (70%).
Gaston, K.J. & Spicer, J.I. 2004. Biodiversity: an introduction. 2nd edition. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Caughley, G. & Gunn, A. 1996. Conservation Biology in Theory and Practice. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Dobson, A.P. 1996. Conservation and Biodiversity. Scientific American, New York
Gaston, K.J. (ed.) 1996. Biodiversity: a biology of numbers and difference. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Groombridge, B. & Jenkins, M.D. 2002. World Atlas of Biodiversity: Earth's living resources in the 21st Century. University of California Press, London
Loreau, M., Naeem, S. & Inchausti, P. (eds.) 2002. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: synthesis and perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Various, but including: Nature, Science, BioScience and PLoS Biology
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
Demonstrate knowledge of environments being the result of natural processes
Demonstrate a clear understanding of the drivers of change in the natural world over space and time, demonstrating knowledge of the interactions between climate, ecosystems, and landscapes
Demonstrate a clear understanding of the biodiversity concept and the magnitude of biodiversity
Demonstrate a knowledge of how biodiversity is distributed across the planet and the key hypotheses that have been proposed to explain observed patterns in both space and time
Demonstrate an appreciation of the different use and non-use values of biodiversity, using real world examples
Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the contemporary threats to biodiversity and the ways in which conservationists attempt to protect/maintain biodiversity
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Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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