Current trends and future directions in quantitative geodiversity assessment
Crisp, JRA and Ellison, JC and Fischer, A, Current trends and future directions in quantitative geodiversity assessment, Progress in Physical Geography, 45, (4) pp. 514-540. ISSN 0309-1333 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Geodiversity assessment is recent and is passing through a stage of methodological development and consolidation. With rapid environmental change, improving the developmental states of geodiversity assessment is of paramount importance. A scientometric analysis is presented to identify knowledge gaps, current trends and avenues for future research in quantitative geodiversity assessment literature. The study is categorised into three areas of analysis: (a) methodological intentions of geodiversity assessment, (b) current trends in geodiversity assessment methods and (c) current geographic trends. A ranking tool was developed to determine whether the current methodological intentions of geodiversity assessments trend towards combined geodiversity and biodiversity assessments or towards the independent assessment of geodiversity. Results showed that about 50% of publications independently assessed geodiversity with no consideration for biodiversity, 32% discussed or reviewed geodiversity by mentioning potential links to biodiversity and 12% more strongly linked geodiversity assessment to biodiversity assessment. Tools used by scholars to determine geodiversity values varied from statistical through to the more frequently adopted geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analytical software approaches. Study sites selected for geodiversity assessments were predominantly terrestrial at the state-wide scale. Marine assessments, or seabed geodiversity, were mostly absent from the literature, with only two publications found. Brazil in South America had many geodiversity assessments and European scholars have played crucial roles in the development of quantitative geodiversity assessment in recent years. Subsequent research will benefit from developing a unified geodiversity assessment approach, reaching a consensus on an accepted definition and standardising the geodiversity concept, broadening research site environment types and developing strategies to promote further international and intranational collaboration.