Conservation Biology, Discipline of

Andrew P. Dobson, Katarzyna Nowak, Jon P. Rodríguez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The increasing size of the human ecological footprint will require a matching increase in conservation efforts if significant, viable communities of nonvoting species are to have any real chance of persisting in natural forms where they can evolve and provide vital services to the human economy, health, and wellbeing. Conservation biology, one of the fastest-growing and developing fields of modern scientific research is an applied, mission-driven discipline that integrates principles of natural and social sciences with the objective of ensuring the long-term persistence of biodiversity on Earth. Its origins were a direct reaction to the current biodiversity crisis. This article reviews current trends in conservation biology, using a hierarchical organization beginning from the largest level of ecosystems and communities to the intermediate level of species and populations, and down to the smallest level, that of individuals and genes. The authors highlight the increasing emphasis on maintaining “ecosystem services” and landscape-level processes, i.e., fully functioning ecosystems made up of interacting species, and increasingly view humans as part of the equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity, Third Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128225622
ISBN (Print)9780323984348
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation biology
  • Corridors
  • Ecosystem services
  • Gap analysis
  • Island biogeography theory
  • Population viability
  • Protected areas
  • Red list
  • Reserve selection and Surrogate species


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