PerspectiveEcology

Heeding the Warning in Biodiversity's Basic Law

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Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 276-277
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.276

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Summary

One of the first patterns in ecology to be elucidated was the species-area relationship: Larger areas harbor more species than smaller areas. This relationship was explained by theoretical ecologists in terms of a log-normal distribution of species abundance, but Harte and colleagues provide a more accurate mathematical explanation of the species-area relationship. Michael Rosenzweig discusses this new mathematical interpretation in his Perspective and explains how it can be used to help to conserve species diversity.