UZH-Logo

How many species are there? Public understanding and awareness of biodiversity in Switzerland


Lindemann-Matthies, P; Bose, E (2008). How many species are there? Public understanding and awareness of biodiversity in Switzerland. Human Ecology, 36(5):731-742.

Abstract

This paper presents the results of interviews and a questionnaire study on public knowledge of the concept
of biodiversity and of plant species richness in Switzerland. Despite its extensive use in science and policy making, the concept of biodiversity is not widely recognized or known to people in Switzerland. Overall, 60% of all study (161 grammar school pupils, 110 non-graduates,
and 96 graduates in the Canton of Zurich) had never heard the term biodiversity, while the others had come across it primarily in the media. Few study participants considered their school education a relevant source of information about biodiversity. Study participants most frequently referred to the diversity of plants and animals when defining biodiversity, but also quite often believed that biodiversity had something to do with ecological concepts such as the equilibrium between all components of nature. Both young people and adults held widely inaccurate ideas of the plant species richness of communities. Particularly for Switzerland, plant species richness was strongly overestimated.

This paper presents the results of interviews and a questionnaire study on public knowledge of the concept
of biodiversity and of plant species richness in Switzerland. Despite its extensive use in science and policy making, the concept of biodiversity is not widely recognized or known to people in Switzerland. Overall, 60% of all study (161 grammar school pupils, 110 non-graduates,
and 96 graduates in the Canton of Zurich) had never heard the term biodiversity, while the others had come across it primarily in the media. Few study participants considered their school education a relevant source of information about biodiversity. Study participants most frequently referred to the diversity of plants and animals when defining biodiversity, but also quite often believed that biodiversity had something to do with ecological concepts such as the equilibrium between all components of nature. Both young people and adults held widely inaccurate ideas of the plant species richness of communities. Particularly for Switzerland, plant species richness was strongly overestimated.

Citations

35 citations in Web of Science®
44 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

6 downloads since deposited on 19 Jan 2009
2 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological diversity, Plant species richness, Public knowledge, Survey
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:19 Jan 2009 14:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:43
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0300-7839
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10745-008-9194-1
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-8490

Download

[img]
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations