The bare statement that the region contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is entirely inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity.
J.A. Harris: The variable desert, in: Scientific Monthly 3 (1916), S. 41-50, hier S. 49.

Even a casual observer of the tide pools gets some of the feeling for biological diversity, fecundity, and struggle which has played so important a part in Steinbeck’s thinking.
F. Champney: John Steinbeck, Californian, in: The Antioch Review 7 (1947), S. 345-62, hier S. 347.

Trotz ihrer Häufigkeit, Artenfülle und biologischen Vielfalt ist über die meisten Gruppen kleiner Schlupfwespen systematisch und faunistisch erst sehr wenig bekannt.
M. Boneß: Über die Proctotrupiden Schleswig-Holsteins, in: Bombus 2 (1962), S. 112-115, hier S. 112.

Im allgemeinen sind die alten Kleideiche, namentlich wenn sie keine Meeresberührung mehr haben, den modernen Sandkerndeichen bezüglich der biologischen Vielfalt der Lebensgemeinschaft und der Biomasse überlegen.
Berndt Heydemann: Deiche der Nordseeküste als besonderer Lebensraum. Ökologische Untersuchungen über die Arthropoden-Besiedlung, in: Die Küste 11 (1963), S. 90-130, hier S. 128.

Conservation of diversity should become the primary aim of conservation […] They [conservationists] should be explicit that their fundamental aim is to conserve biological diversity either for its own sake or for the future good of mankind
N.W. Moore: Experience with pesticides and the theory of conservation. Biological Conservation 1 (1969), S. 201-207, hier S. 201; 203.

[a major theme of the conference was the need to develop an ‘ethic of biotic diversity,’ in which such diversity is perceived as a value in itself and is tied in with the survival and fitness of the human race
C. Holden: Scientists talk of the need for conservation and an ethic of biotic diversity to slow species extinction, in: Science 184 (1974), S. 646-647, heir S. 646.]

reduction in the biological diversity of the planet is the most basic issue of our time
Thomas E. Lovejoy: Foreword, in: Michael E. Soulé und Bruce A. Wilcox (Hg.): Conservation Biology. An Evolutionary-Ecological Perspective, Sunderland, Mass. 1980, S. v-ix, hier S. ix.

Biological diversity includes two related concepts, genetic diversity and ecological diversity. Genetic diversity is the amount of genetic variability among individuals in a single species, whether species exist as a single interbreeding group or as number of populations, strains, breeds, races, or subspecies. Ecological diversity (species richness) is the number of species in a community of organisms. Both kinds of diversity are fundamental to the functioning of ecological systems.
E.A. Norse und R.E. McManus: Ecology and living resources: biological diversity, in: Environmental Quality 1980. The Eleventh Annual Report of the Council on Environmental Quality, Washington, D.C. 1980, S. 32.

It is […] likely that the depletion of a […] nonrenewable resource, the biological diversity of our planet, will be the prime factor in triggering a decline in human numbers so catastrophic that it could spell the end of industrial civilization
Paul Ehrlich: Human carrying capacity, extinctions, and nature reserves, in: BioScience 32 (1982), S. 331-333, hier S. 331.

Human activities are rapidly degrading the biosphere with serious consequences for the maintenance oft he planet’s biological diversity in general and in particular for the preservation of its genetic resources
Myers und E.S. Aysensu: Reduction of biological diversity and species loss, in: Ambio 12 (1983), S. 72-74, hier S. 72.

Biological diversity can be defined generally as the diversity of life forms, the genetic diversity they contain, and the ecological functions they perform. This general definition can be expanded by further defining components of biological diversity at different levels of biological organization […]. The different levels of biological organization are ecosystems, species, populational, and molecular. The components at each level are communities, species, populations, and genes, respectively.
Bruce A. Wilcox: Concepts in conservation biology: application to the management of biological diversity, in: James L. Cooley und June H. Cooley (Hg.): Natural Diversity in Forest Ecosystems, Atlanta, Ga. 1984, S. 155-172, hier S: 156.

Biological diversity is the diversity of life. Ecologists studying the patterns and processes of life tend to focus on three levels of biological diversity: genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. The most familiar level, species diversity, varies greatly from place to place. […] A lower, less obvious level of biological diversity is genetic diversity within species. […] There is also a higher level of biological diversity Different physical settings have more or less distinctive communities of species. This is ecosystem diversity.
Elliott A. Norse et al.: Conserving Biological Diversity in Our National Forests, Washington, D.C. 1986, S. 2f.

Biological diversity refers to the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their relative frequency. For biological diversity, these items are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the chemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses different ecosystems, species, genes, and their relative abundance.
Office of Technology Assessment (OTA): Technologies to Maintain Biological Diversity. Congress of the United States, OTA-F-330, Washington, D.C. 1987, S. 3.

Walter G. Rosen […] introduced the term biodiversity, which aptly represents, as well as any term can, the vast array of topics and perspectives covered during the Washington forum [on “BioDiversity, held in Washington, D.C., on September 21–24, 1986”]
Edward O. Wilson: Foreword, in: ders. (Hg.). Biodiversity, Washington, D.C. 1988, S. v-vii, hier S. vi.

is the property of living systems of being distinct, that is different, unlike. Biological diversity or biodiversity is defined here as the property of groups or classes of living entities to be varied. Thus, each class of entity – gene, cell, individual, species, community, or ecosystem – has more than one kind. Diversity is a fundamental property of every living system. Because biological systems are hierarchical, diversity manifests itself at every level of the biological hierarchy, from molecules to ecosystems.
Otto T. Solbrig: Biodiversity. Scientific Issues and Collaborative Research Proposals, UNESCO, Paris 1991, S. 9.

In the simplest of terms, biological diversity is the variety of life and its processes; and it includes the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur.
Keystone Center: Final Consensus Report of the Keystone Policy Dialogue on Biological Diversity on Federal Lands,
Washington, D.C. 1991, S. 6.

Biological diversity” means the variability among livingorganisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
UNCED: Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992: Art. 2.

Ende der biologischen Vielfalt?
E.O. Wilson und F.M. Peter (Hg.): Ende der biologischen Vielfalt? Der Verlust an Arten, Genen und Lebensraumen und die Chancen für eine Umkehr (Original: Biodiversity, Washington, D.C. 1988), Heidelberg 1992.

Die biologische Vielfalt bleibt nur erhalten, wenn der Natur mehr Raum zugestanden wird, wo sie sich ansiedeln und frei entfalten kann.
J.-C. Praz: Pouta Fontana, Sumpf in der Rhoneebene, Kantonales naturhistorsche Museum, Sion 1993, S. 5.

It [viz. creating the term ‘biodiversity’ in preparing the 1986 Forum on BioDiversity in Washington D.C.] was easy to do: all you do is take the ‘logical’ out of ‘biological’. […] To take the logical out of something that’s supposed to be science is a bit of a contradiction in terms, right? And, yet, of course, that’s why I get impatient with the Academy, because they’re always so logical that there seems to be no room for emotion in there, no room for spirit.
Walter G. Rosen: [Interview statement vom 30. März 1992], in: David Takacs: The Idea of Biodiversity. Philosophies of Paradise, Baltimore 1996, S. 37.

The Washington Conference? That was an explicit political event, explicitly designed to make Congress aware of this complexity of species that we’re losing […;] the word [biodiversity] was punched into that system at that point deliberately. A lot of us went to that talk with a political mission
Daniel Janzen: [Interview statement, 1992], in: David Tacacs: The Idea of Biodiversity.
Philosophies of Paradise, Baltimore 1996, S. 37.

When Rosen and other NAS staff members approached me to serve as editor of the proceedings, I argued for “biological diversity”, the term I and others had favored to that time. Biodiversity, I said, is too catchy; it lacks dignity. But Rosen and his colleagues persisted. Biodiversity is simpler and more distinctive, they insisted, so the public will remember it more easily.
Edward O. Wilson: Naturalist, London 1996, S. 359.

Conservation biologists have generated and disseminated the term biodiversity specifically to change the terrain of your mental map […]. The term biodiversity is a tool for a zealous defense of a particular social construction of nature […]
Scientists who love the natural world forged the term biodiversity as a weapon to be wielded in these battles. […]
If biodiversity is blurry and all-encompassing, that is in part why it has been so successful as a conservation buzzword […]. Biodiversity has entered the dictionary, people respond to it, it works, because each of us can find in it what we cherish […]. What is it you most prize in the natural world? Yes, biodiversity is that, too. In biodiversity each of us finds a mirror for our most treasured natural images, our most fervent environmental concerns. […]
The complexity of the biodiversity concept does not only mirror the natural world it supposedly represents; it is that plus the complexity of human interactions with the natural world, the inextricable skein of our values and its value, of our inability to separate our concept of a thing from the thing itself. Don’t know what biodiversity is? You can’t.
David Takacs: The Idea of Biodiversity. Philosophies of Paradise, Baltimore 1996, S. 1; 3; 81; 341.

Biological diversity‘” is a mouthful, especially if one is organizing a conference on the topic and must use the term countless times every day for weeks on end. And so, early in the planning for that forum, I condensed and combined. “Biodiversity‘” rolls much more easily off the tongue, conveying the same meaning in a third fewer syllables. Mr. Wilson’s reservations notwithstanding, the term quickly caught on.
Walter B. Rosen: Coining a catchword, in: The New York Times, 23. Feb. 1997.

biodiversity is to be (implicitly) defined as what is being conserved by the practice of conservation biology […]
Biodiversity will be relativized in two ways: (i) the definition will only try to say if place A has higher (or the same or lower) biodiversity than B; and (ii) it will do so only against a background set of places Π. What our procedure (or algorithm) must do is this: given Π and a set of new places, Σ, the algorithm must prioritize these places on the basis of biodiversity using the surrogate lists for Π and for each place in Σ. This will be done by considering two places at each stage and iterating the process over the entire set of places, Π, resulting, finally, in a prioritized list. […]
biodiversity is the relation used to prioritize places.
Sahotra Sarkar: Defining “biodiversity”, assessing biodiversity. The Monist 85 (2002), S. 131-155, hier S. 146f.; 148.

[The] definition of biodiversity […] must be rich enough to capture all that we mean by, and value in, nature.
Bryan Norton: Toward a policy-relevant definition of biodiversity, in: J. Michael Scott, Dale D. Goble und Frank W. Davis (Hg.): The Endangered Species Act at Thirty, Bd. 2, Washington, D.C. 2006, S. 49-58, hier S. 57.

Biologische Vielfalt oder Biodiversität ist letztlich alles das, was zur Vielfalt der belebten Natur beiträgt. „Erhaltung der biologischen Vielfalt“ umfasst den „Schutz“ und die „nachhaltige Nutzung“.
Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit: Nationale Strategie zur biologischen Vielfalt, Berlin 2007, S. 9.

im Begriff der Biodiversität [wird] erstens die Trennung von Tatsachen und Werten und zweitens die Trennung von Wissenschaft und Politik aufgehoben […] die Aufgabe dieser Unterscheidungen [wird] aus methodologischen Gründen zurückgewiesen
Uta Eser: Biodiversität und der Wandel im Wissenschaftsverständnis, in: Thomas Potthast (Hg.): Biodiversität – Schlüsselbegriff des Naturschutzes im 21. Jahrhundert?, Bonn 2007, S. 41-56.

Für dieses Gesetz gelten folgende Begriffsbestimmungen: 1. biologische Vielfalt [:] die Vielfalt der Tier- und Pflanzenarten einschließlich der innerartlichen Vielfalt sowie die Vielfalt an Formen von Lebensgemeinschaften und Biotopen
Bundesnaturschutzgesetz vom 29. Juli 2009. Bundesgesetzblatt Teil I, Nr. 51, ausgegeben zu Bonn am 6. August 2009, S. 2542-2579, hier S. 2546.

Critical scrutiny of the concept of biodiversity is nevertheless long overdue, and we argue that there are good reasons to doubt whether it provides any guidance for environmental decision-makers or has any clearly established relationship with those aspects of nature about which we care the most. […] policy decisions necessarily involve value judgments, and the role of these judgments is obscured when decisions are presented as following automatically from empirical evidence.
Nicolae Morar, Ted Toadvine und Brendan J.M. Bohannan: Biodiversity at twenty-five years: revolution or red herring?, in: Ethics, Policy & Environment 18 (2015), S. 16-29, hier S. 16f.; 25.



David Takacs: The Idea of Biodiversity. Philosophies of Paradise, Baltimore 1996.

Timothy J. Farnham: Saving Nature’s Legacy. Origins of the Idea of Biological Diversity, New Haven 2007.