Biodiversity Erosion

Issues and questions

Biodiversity Erosion

Christian Lévêque, Emérite - IRD, France

ISBN : 9781786307620

Publication Date : September 2022

Hardcover 252 pp

165.00 USD



The erosion of biodiversity is currently highly publicized. Militant movements accuse humans of destroying nature and being responsible for a sixth mass extinction. However, this anxiety-provoking message is sometimes based on misconceptions, false or partisan ideas, and media relays that favor and amplify alarmist information. If the situation of certain populations is worrying, it is not a general phenomenon because others are expanding. Rather than holding a globalizing discourse, it is necessary to recontextualize and relativize the debate to better define the necessary actions.

Biodiversity Erosion analyzes numerous scientific publications, as well as alarming discussions, emphasizing the multiple biases present in the way information is presented. This book questions the relevance of the notion of species and the desire to compile an inventory of all living things. It argues for a less Manichean approach to our relationship with nature.


1. The Gradual Decline of Biodiversity: What Do We Mean?
2. The Promethean Dream: Taking Stock of Biodiversity.
3. What Can We Learn from the Great Extinctions of the Past?
4. Biodiversity Decline: “The Worst Is Not Certain”.
5. Let’s Talk about the Renewal Rate of Biological Diversity.
6. Controversies Surrounding the Extinction Rate.
7. The Hidden Face of Methods for Assessing Biodiversity Decline.
8. Biodiversity and the Functioning of Ecosystems: A Multitude of Preconceived Ideas.
9. Species Introductions: For Better or For Worse.
10. Global Warming: A Catastrophe for Biodiversity?
11. Is Planning Destroying Biodiversity?
12. The Decline of Insects.
13. The Decline of Birds.
14. Reasons to be Positive.
15. From Facts to Extrapolations.

About the authors/editors

Christian Lévêque is Honorary Director of Research at the Institut de recherche pour le développement, France, Honorary President of the French Academy of Agriculture and a specialist in the ecology of continental aquatic environments. He is the author of numerous works on ecology and biodiversity.