|Kim, JT; Kastner-Maresch, A; Lange, H: Biodiversity in natural and artificial life #1: Introduction, Proceedings of the German Workshop on Artificial Life, 259-267 (1998)|
The issue of biodiversity has received increasing interest during the last decade. However, there is no method for quantitatively characterizing biodiversity on all levels of biological organization where it is observed. This lack of a formal definition for biodiversity is an impediment to progress in scientific understanding of the biodiversity phenomenon. Furthermore, discussion in the general public also suffers from this deficiency, as different ad hoc measures and indices for biodiversity are in use, resulting in confusing and apparently inconsistent information of the public. The possibilities and limitations of different formal definitions for this basic term will be discussed here.