Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What Is Biodiversity?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Maclaurin and Kim Sterelny

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226500805

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226500829.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see http://www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 January 2018

Disparity and Diversity

Disparity and Diversity

Chapter:
(p.42) 3 Disparity and Diversity
Source:
What Is Biodiversity?
Author(s):

Maclaurin James

Sterelny Kim

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226500829.003.0003

This chapter, which considers the idea that tracking species number does not track a second important dimension of biodiversity—phenotypic richness—focuses on the claim that diversity (species number) does not track disparity (variation across phenotypes). A biota can be species rich but not very disparate, if the species composing the biota are rather similar. Arguably, many island faunas are more diverse than disparate, for they often derive from a few founder species, and this constrains the variation that evolves. Stephen Jay Gould made this diversity–disparity distinction famous in his 1989 classic Wonderful Life, and it has generated ongoing controversy. The chapter develops his take on the Cambrian and its significance in more detail; explains the importance of the issues he raises; and outlines some of the challenges to his view. It also sketches recent developments in understanding the Cambrian, and their implications for the Gouldian picture.

Keywords:   biodiversity, species number, phenotypic richness, Stephen Jay Gould, Cambrian

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.