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Speciation centres and sustainable development

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Abstract

Biodiversity can be regarded as the result of the dynamic processes starting with speciation and ending with species extinction. Speciation urges populations of organisms within an already-existing species to change as a consequence of ecological change. It can occur everywhere as the selective pressures causing it are randomly distributed ( Dobzhansky et al., 1977 , p. 4); hence, a need to promote a development policy that does not endanger these natural processes. This conservation concept addresses a global ecological policy and is different from the more classical concept of conservation based on the promotion of natural parks to preserve rare species and their direct habitats. The latter concept has the disadvantage to lead to the protection of limited surfaces, which cannot harbour most of speciation centres and leaves the rest of the world unprotected. Examples will illustrate the dangers faced by continental and insular speciation centres.
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Document Type: Correspondence

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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