in animals and plants. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.
National Tsing Hua University, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan
Diversity is a measure of the compositional complexity of
an assemblage. One of the fundamental parameters de-
scribing ecosystems, it plays a central role in community
ecology and conservation biology. Widespread concern
about the impact of human activities on ecosystems has
made the measurement of diversity an increasingly im-
portant topic in recent years.
TRADITIONAL DIVERSITY MEASURES
The simplest and still
N I N E T E E N Diversity
Figure 19. Rangeland biodiversity. Drawing by Casey Landrum.
Truett, Grass 7/31/09 12:37 PM Page 167
Encountering diversity in nature can titillate the senses but at the same
time generate anxiety. It’s like owning a lot of stuff or having too many
people or pets in the house. Diversity offers grand prospect, interesting
opportunity, but at the same time can challenge one’s sense of control.
Birdwatchers spend a lot of time seeking out diversity, lawnkeepers and
farmers a lot of money getting rid of it.
C H A P T E R V
Angel shark. Hagfish. Sarcastic fringehead. Warmouth. Whitefish.
Grayling. Cardinal tetra. Wobbegong. Peacock flounder. Hogchoker.
Zebrafish. The colorful names we give to fish reflect their enormous
diversity. There are over 21,000 species of fish, with new species being
described on a regular basis. They occur in an amazing array of habitats
from high mountain streams to the depths of the ocean, with a diversity
of adaptations to match their habitats. This chapter, and the ones that
follow, can only give you a glimpse of this
, most of these activities are localized.
San Diego County is considered one of the world's biodiversity
hot spots—a region that has been characterized by scientists as
having a wide variety of plants and animals, many endemic, liv-
ing in close proximity. Thousands of insects and invertebrates,
both terrestrial and water dwelling, are found here, including
about 200 species of dragonflies and butterflies. Over 600 types
of freshwater and saltwater fish are native to California, and
many of these live in San Diego County. Birds are well
Diversity: Not There Yet
In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s hearing on
affi rmative action, the public University of California system
was depicted alternately as a dramatic success or a dismal fail-
ure in its efforts to enroll Latino and African American stu-
dents after the elimination of race and ethnicity as factors in
The truth lies somewhere in between. But as a university
president who took offi ce just after the decision in California
to disallow consideration of race and ethnicity in University ad
as a biology professor, whether I’d become a nightclub waitress,
whether I’d even stay alive. I couldn’t make long-term plans.
Still, I found my mind leaping from one question to another: What’s
the real story about diversity in gender and sexuality? How much diver-
sity exists in other vertebrate species? How does diversity evolve in the
animal kingdom? And how does diversity develop as individuals grow
up: what role do genes, hormones, and brain cells play? And what about
diversity in other cultures and historical periods, from
c h a p t e r 3
In 1993, two San Francisco Bay Area academics—Glynn Custred and
Thomas Wood—introduced a ballot initiative that in one vote promised
to eliminate aYrmative action throughout the state of California. Cus-
tred and Wood viewed aYrmative action as both unfair and contrary to
their own interests. Custred was a white anthropology professor at Cal-
ifornia State University at Hayward who was upset by, among other
things, the hiring and Wring practices employed by his university to cre-
ate and maintain racial diversity on the
distinctive. To them it is all about the terroir in the former bed of the
Ngaruroro River. “No politics, no bullshit,” said Steve Smith, a wine-
maker and partner at Craggy Range, whose first vintage was in 2001.
“Either you’re in or you’re out.”1 This style of governance has more in
common with an apartment co-op than it does with a French appellation.
The winemakers who put Gimblett Gravels on their wine labels are
in contravention of no law, domestic or foreign, as it is not a place
name, but rather a trademark. As a result
(NGOs) and the news
media. One product of that meeting was The United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity ( http:// www .cbd .int/ con
vention/ text/ ), often referred to as the Biodiversity Treaty.
Recurring themes of the conference and the Convention were
that countries needed to conserve their biological diversity
and use their biological resources in a sustainable manner. At a
meeting in April 2002, the Conference of the Parties (the
decision- making body of the Convention) set as a goal a sig-
nifi cant reduction in the rate of loss of