The term “geodiversity” emerged 30 years ago to define the range of geological (rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, physical processes, soil, and hydrological) features, including their assemblages, structures, systems, and contributions to landscapes. Traditionally associated with the theme of geoconservation, it has increasingly come to be perceived as a much broader topic, with influence on approaches that cover all domains of the geosciences.
In several approaches, geodiversity has been characterized in qualitative and/or quantitative procedures, generally supported in three main questions: “What?” is related to the type of geodiversity elements present in a certain area and its spatial distribution, which determines the scale of the analysis; “why?” represents the goals of its characterization and cartographic representation, such as education, outreach, land use planning or nature conservation; and “how?” deals with the selection of the method(s) and criteria for geodiversity characterization and assessment.
In the same way, interest in the cartographic representation of geodiversity has grown in recent years, as evidenced by the high number of scientific publications dedicated to this topic, mainly to quantitative methodologies and geodiversity indices. However, the purpose of mapping spatial geodiversity has not yet been properly demonstrated. Are these cartographic data applicable in the context of land use planning? Are they a tool for environmental management or nature conservation, similar to biodiversity? Is there a close relationship between them and the spatial distribution of biodiversity? These are some relevant questions that arise at a time when more and more researchers are paying attention to geodiversity topics, thus making it necessary to clearly define the object, objectives, and methods.
Therefore, in addition to conceptual discussions around geodiversity features (what?) and assessment methods (how?), one of the main current challenges is demonstrating why geodiversity is important in ecosystem services, in implementing nature conservation and land use policies, in its direct relationship with biodiversity, in ecosystems restoration, and as part of natural capital.
Manuscript submissions focusing on geodiversity assessment are welcome and encouraged. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:
- Methods to assess geodiversity;
- GIS and mapping of geodiversity;
- Assessment of ecosystem services from geodiversity;
- Relations between geodiversity and biodiversity;
- Relations between geodiversity and geoheritage;
- Relations between geodiversity and land-use;
- Geodiversity data for land-use planning;
- Geodiversity data for nature conservation.
Dr. Paulo Pereira
- ecosystem services