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Old processes, new movements: the inclusion of geodiversity in biological and ecological discourse

Boothroyd, A and McHenry, M ORCID: 0000-0002-4393-8635 2019 , 'Old processes, new movements: the inclusion of geodiversity in biological and ecological discourse' , Diversity, vol. 11, no. 11 , pp. 1-17 , doi:

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There exists substantial variation in the qualitative and quantitative interpretations of theconcept of geodiversity and its embedded elements and values. The resulting divergence andambiguity in applications of the term constrain its present use as an operationalized concept innature conservation research and discourse, unlike its seemingly analogous biotic term,‘biodiversity’. This paper presents findings from a critical literature review of 299 academic journalarticles and texts that define geodiversity values, or otherwise incorporate geodiversity or itsderived elements and values as components of conservation. Contrary to previous suggestions, wehave found that most geoscientists have united behind a single definition of geodiversity andapplied it frequently in their primary and applied, geotouristic, research. Qualitative elements ofgeodiversity, including system support values and aesthetic appeals within nature conservation,have been largely confined to geoconservation and geoscientific literature and are nearly absentfrom biological discourse. Encouragingly, however, we have observed a more recent increase inresearch pertaining to quantitative interpretations of abiotic geodiversity elements and theirrelationship with the spatial distribution and abundance of species. Although the inclusion ofgeodiversity elements (quantitative and qualitative) in conservation assessment and biodiversityresearch has been and remains far less universal than for biodiversity elements, there is strongpotential for further unification of these two concepts, especially though collaborative quantitativeresearch. The more that geodiversity is discussed outside of geographic and geoscientificdisciplines, broader recognition and validated use of the concept of geodiversity will be used in theunderstanding, interpretation, and protection of patterns and processes at the landscape scale.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Boothroyd, A and McHenry, M
Keywords: geoheritage, geoconservation, GIS, geoparks, soils, rocks, minerals, landforms
Journal or Publication Title: Diversity
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 1424-2818
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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