Parco Nazionale della Majella
Department of Plant Biology and Ecology (Botany), University of the Basque Country, Ap. 644, E-48080 Bilbao; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A general review of the ideas and concepts concerning biological diversity is carried out in the first part of this paper. The importance of biodiversity and its role in the ecosystems is considered and the types of biodiversity and some procedures and formulae to assess it are analyzed as well as the factors which influence this parameter in ecosystems. The second part focuses on the relation of vegetation and biodiversity and particularly on the elements of biological diversity contained in the phytosociological information. The advantages of using the relevés data sets and the phytosociological vegetation maps for assessing biodiversity are highlighted: low cost, methodological homogeneity, size and extent of the data set. The attributes of the phytosociological data permit an assessment of the alpha, beta and gamma diversities in the local and habitat scale and the integrated or dynamiczonal phytosociology can be used to analyze diversity at landscape or regional scale.