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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-8490

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.

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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.


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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
Deposited On:19 Jan 2009 14:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:43
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10745-008-9194-1

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