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Biodiversity Indicators: Taking nature's temperature

abstract1 (full description below): California Agriculture. November-December Issue. 1995
Biodiversity indicators. PDF/Acrobat file     SoulĂ©, M. E.

Several habitats and ecosystems in California, including those that have been converted to agriculture, are severely threatened - the remnants of these disappearing communities constitute only 10% or so of their original extant. As a society we have begun a last-ditch effort to salvage and protect these remnants and the species that depend on them. To succeed, we must develop and agree on criteria for ecological integrity. These criteria must include "indicators" - ways to take nature's temperature. But more is needed than good science; saving this diverse living legacy also requires a moral consensus.