that can be investigated - from molecular diversity, via species to communities of species to the ecosystem - in various types of habitat and at various times.

Current thinking is that the interactions between diversity and stability need to be clarified, since it has been shown that the species-richness does not guarantee stability of communities. Of the current hypotheses, particular attention is paid to the redundant species hypothesis, stating that in a community redundant species occur, i.e. their loss does not affect the stability of the community. However, it is difficult to establish redundancy in all aspects of the community (physiological, structural, ecological, etc.). The protection of a community has to reach beyond the maintenance of species and must take into account the protection of communities and habitats. Nevertheless, there are centres of high diversity, so-called hot spots, predominantly in the tropics and subtropics, which need particular attention.

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