This accessible and timely book provides a comprehensive overviewof how to measure biodiversity. The book highlights newdevelopments, including innovative approaches to measuringtaxonomic distinctness and estimating species richness, andevaluates these alongside traditional methods such as speciesabundance distributions, and diversity and evenness statistics. Helps the reader quantify and interpret patterns of ecologicaldiversity, focusing on the measurement and estimation of speciesrichness and abundance.Explores the concept of ecological diversity, bringing newperspectives to a field beset by contradictory views andadvice.Discussion spans issues such as the meaning of community in thecontext of ecological diversity, scales of diversity anddistribution of diversity among taxaHighlights advances in measurement paying particular attentionto new techniques such as species richness estimation, applicationof measures of diversity to conservation and environmentalmanagement and addressing sampling issuesIncludes worked examples of key methods in helping people tounderstand the techniques and use available computer packages moreeffectively
Although diversity is one of the central themes of ecology there is considerable disagreement ab out how it should be measured. I first encountered this problem 10 ycars ago whcn I started my research career and spent a long time pouring ovcr the literature in order to find the most useful techniques. The intervening decade has seen a further increasc in the number ofpapers devoted to the topic of ecological diversity but has led to no consensus on how it should be measured. My aim in writing this book is therefore to provide a practical guide to ecological diversity and its measurement. In a quantitative subject such as the measurement of diversity it is inevitable that some mathematics are involved, but at all times these are kept as simple as possible, and the emphasis is constantly on ecological reality and practical application. I hope that others ente ring thc fascinating ficld of ecological diversity will find it hclpful. This book grew out of my work in The School of Biological and Environmental Studies at the New University ofUlster, Coleraine, Northern Ircland. I am indebted to all the ecologists there for pro vi ding a stimulating atmosphere. Foremost among these were Amyan Macfadyen and Palmer Newbould. A number of the figures and tables in the book are based on data collected in Northern Irish woodlands.