Chapter 14 - Conservation Biology
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Publisher SummaryConservation biology has emerged as a true scientific discipline and has succeeded in providing an understanding of many of the underpinnings of the field, including effects of pollution on populations of plants and animals, how to approach restoration of various habitats, how to manage endangered species, and many other topics too numerous to mention. Subdisciplines within conservation biology, including conservation genetics, restoration ecology, landscape ecology, and many others, have developed in recent years. A major focus of conservation biology is the maintenance of the world's biodiversity. Biological diversity is the product of organic evolution, and biological processes from the molecular level involving DNA to the biosphere are not intelligible without reference to organic evolution. It includes the genetic diversity embodied in these organisms, and the interactions among them that form unique communities and ecosystems. The study of biodiversity and its conservation require addressing diversity at several levels and in several ways. In addition to assessing the diversity of amphibians and reptiles, herpetological research contributes broadly to conservation management, both in identifying the causes of decline and in developing data on amphibian and reptilian biology, from genetics to natural history.

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