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gamma-diversitygamma-Diversität (ger.)

  • The diversity of species in a larger geographic unit which consists of several biotopes (e.g. a landscape or island). (HWB) 

    The two phenomena involved [“diversity of individual stands, and relative differentiation of vegetation patterns along topographic moisture gradients”] suggest the need for distinguishing three aspects or levels of species-diversity in natural comnmunities: […] (3) The species-diversity of a number of community samples, for some range of environments, which have been combined, so that the diversity value is a resultant of both alpha and beta diversities of these samples. The transect diversities […] are of this tertiary or “gamma” diversity type, as are many of those for animal collections to which diversity measurements have been applied. The same types of measurements may be applied to “gamma” as to “alpha” diversity; “beta” diversity represents a different problem

    Whittaker, R.H. (1960). Vegetation of the Siskiyou Mountains, Orgeon and California. Ecol. Monogr. 30, 279-338: 320; cf. id. (1972). Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon 21, 213-251: 232.


    gamma diversity The richness in species of a range ohabitats in a geographical area, dependent upon both the alpha diversity q.v. of the habitats it contains and the extent of the beta diversity q. v. between them.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 98.