The study of biodiversity is
fundamental to our understanding of life on Earth and to confronting some of the problems caused by our own species. Further, we increasingly count on biodiversity for a wide variety of ecosystem functions and services amidst a gauntlet of
anthropogenic changes. In fact, biodiversity is disappearing at a rate even faster than the last mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago, with possibly two thirds of existing terrestrial species likely to
become extinct by the end of this century. This Biodiversity Special Issue looks at taxonomy and
systematics, evolutionary biology and
biogeography, ecology, and conservation/restoration, and the images on the cover represent
these areas of focus.