OPEN Trends in ecology & evolution | 5 Mar 2016
Is it sufficient to base arguments for conservation on the intrinsic value of nature, regardless of the services and economic benefits that biodiversity provides for humans? This question underlies much recent debate that has been at times acrimonious and has led to calls for a more inclusive approach to conservation. Yet melding different ideologies within a unified conceptual framework has proven difficult. Here I describe an approach that recognizes the importance of the level of biological organization and spatial extent in determining the strength of alternative arguments for why we should conserve nature. I argue that the framework helps reconcile contrasting viewpoints and brings clarity to when different conservation management approaches (for instance, regulation versus monetary valuation) are most appropriate.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com