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This volume does not aim at merely adding to the vast and increasing number of individual publications on `biodiversity'. Rather it is our objective to investigate biodiversity on the previously little studied coenosis and landscape levels. Phytosociological and animal-ecological fields are considered, as well as theoretical approaches to biodiversity and aspects of its application in nature and landscape protection and preservation. Since biodiversity has so far been predominantly studied in the Anglo-American area, it seemed to be of value to discuss this complex topic from a central and southern European viewpoint, based on data gathered in these regions, and thus to promote a global discussion.
Editorial by A. Kratochwil.- 1 Biodiversity survey and principles.- Biodiversity in ecosystems: some principles.- The diversity of the fauna of two beech forests: some thoughts about possible mechanisms causing the observed patterns.- 2 Fauna, flora, and vegetation in ecosystems: some aspects of biodiversity.- Biodiversity in Mediterranean ecosystems.- Spatial arrangements of habitats and biodiversity: an approach to a sigmasociological view.- Diversity of pasture-woodlands of north-western Germany.- Plant diversity in successional grasslands: How is it modified by foliar insect herbivory?.- The importance of biogeography to biodiversity of bird communities of coniferous forests.- Limits and conservation of the species diversity of small mammal communities.- Lemurs as indicators for assessing biodiversity in forest ecosystems of Madagascar: Why it does not work.- 3 Biodiversity and nature preservation.- Conservation of biodiversity — scientific standards and practical realization.- Elements of biodiversity in today’s nature conservation discussion — from a geobotanical viewpoint.- Biodiversity — its levels and relevance for nature conservation in Germany.