But is it progress? On the alleged advances of conservation biology over ecology

Linquist, Stefan (2008) But is it progress? On the alleged advances of conservation biology over ecology. Biology and Philosophy, 23 4: 529-544. doi:10.1007/s10539-007-9082-x

Author Linquist, Stefan
Title But is it progress? On the alleged advances of conservation biology over ecology
Journal name Biology and Philosophy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0169-3867
Publication date 2008-09
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-007-9082-x
Volume 23
Issue 4
Start page 529
End page 544
Total pages 16
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract As conservation biology has developed as a distinct discipline from ecology, conservation guidelines based on ecological theory have been largely cast aside in favor of theory-independent decision procedures for designing conservation reserves. I argue that this transition has failed to advance the field toward its aim of preserving biodiversity. The abandonment of island biogeography theory in favor of complementarity-based algorithms is a case in point. In what follows, I consider the four central objections raised against island biogeographic conservation guidelines, arguing that they fail to undermine the credibility of this framework as a conservation tool. At best, these objections call for a more careful application of this framework to conservation problems, not its wholesale abandonment. At the same time, complementarily-based algorithms are biased in favor of networks of small reserves containing non-overlapping species. These conditions threaten to promote inbreeding depression, genetic drift and other factors that increase a population’s risk of extinction. Therefore, recent developments in the field of conservation biology have arguably not contributed to its ultimate aim of preserving the maximum amount of biodiversity in the long run.
Keyword Biodiversity
Conservation biology
Island biogeography theory
Philosophy of ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 25 August 2007

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 09:44:09 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry