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Ecological Hierarchy and Biodiversity

In Justin Garson, Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. London: Routledge. pp. 56 - 68 (2016)

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  1. Invasive Species Increase Biodiversity and, Therefore, Services: An Argument of Equivocations.Christopher Lean - 2021 - Conservation Science and Practice 553.
    Some critics of invasion biology have argued the invasion of ecosystems by nonindigenous species can create more valuable ecosystems. They consider invaded communities as more valuable because they potentially produce more ecosystem services. To establish that the introduction of nonindigenous species creates more valuable ecosystems, they defend that value is provisioned by ecosystem services. These services are derived from ecosystem productivity, the production and cycling of resources. Ecosystem productivity is a result of biodiversity, which is understood as local species richness. (...)
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  • Mother Nature Kicks Back: Review of Sean B. Carroll’s 2016 The Serengeti Rules. [REVIEW]Lachlan Douglas Walmsley - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (1):133-146.
    Sean B. Carroll’s new book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why it Matters, is a well-written mix of history of science and philosophy of biology. In his book, Carroll articulates a set of ecological generalisations, the Serengeti Rules, which are supposed to make salient the structures in ecosystems that ensure the persistence of those ecosystems. In this essay review, I evaluate Carroll’s use of the controversial concept of regulation and his thesis that ecosystems have (...)
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  • Indexically Structured Ecological Communities.Christopher Lean - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):501-522.
    Ecological communities are seldom, if ever, biological individuals. They lack causal boundaries as the populations that constitute communities are not congruent and rarely have persistent functional roles regulating the communities’ higher-level properties. Instead we should represent ecological communities indexically, by identifying ecological communities via the network of weak causal interactions between populations that unfurl from a starting set of populations. This precisification of ecological communities helps identify how community properties remain invariant, and why they have robust characteristics. This respects the (...)
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  • Why Wake the Dead? Identity and De-Extinction.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2020 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 33 (3-6):571-589.
    I will entertain and reject three arguments which putatively establish that the individuals produced through de-extinction ought to be the same species as the extinct population. Forms of these arguments have appeared previously in restoration ecology. The first is the weakest, the conceptual argument, that de-extinction will not be de-extinction if it does not re-create an extinct species. This is misguided as de-extinction technology is not unified by its aim to re-create extinct species but in its use of the remnants (...)
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  • Biodiversity Realism: Preserving the Tree of Life.Christopher Lean - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1083-1103.
    Biodiversity is a key concept in the biological sciences. While it has its origin in conservation biology, it has become useful across multiple biological disciplines as a means to describe biological variation. It remains, however, unclear what particular biological units the concept refers to. There are currently multiple accounts of which biological features constitute biodiversity and how these are to be measured. In this paper, I draw from the species concept debate to argue for a set of desiderata for the (...)
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  • In Defence of Biodiversity.Joanna Burch-Brown & Alfred Archer - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):969-997.
    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by introducing two arguments for eliminating the concept of biodiversity from conservation biology, both of which have been put forward in a recent paper by Santana. The first argument is against the concept’s scientific usefulness. (...)
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