Manual Measuring Biological Diversity

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Scientific Research An Academic Publisher. Magurran, A. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, p.

Why Measure Biodiversity?

ABSTRACT: Kogyae Strict Nature Reserve, the only one in Ghana, was established to promote scientific research, particularly on how nature revitalizes itself after major disasters, and also to check the southward drift of the savannah grassland. This study presents the first comprehensive inventory of species composition and diversity of insects of the Reserve. Insects were surveyed between September and June to capture the end of the rainy season, the dry season and the peak of the wet season.

Samples were taken from two sites within the Reserve, Dagomba and Oku using various sampling techniques including pitfall traps, malaise traps and sweep nets. A total of individuals representing families from 21 orders were recorded. Her area of interest are measurement.

Table of Contents.

Measuring biological diversity

The commonness, and rarity, of species. How many species?. An index of diversity. Comparative studies of diversity. Diversity in space and time. No prospect of an end.

Index of Species Diversity

Oftentimes, information is not compiled in one specific place, a problem that can lead to an overlap in the naming of species. Another limitation is an inconsistency in treating the definition of species: what one scientist may classify as a new species another may not [for more, see Classifying Species ]. At the ecosystem-level, measures of biodiversity are often used to compare two ecosystems or to determine changes over time in a given region. Describing changes in biodiversity within or between ecosystems is called beta-diversity. Measures of beta-diversity indicate the difference in species richness between two different habitats or within a single community at different points in time.


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The resulting number indicates to researchers whether there is any overlap in the species found in each group. Gamma-diversity , on the other hand, estimates the total biodiversity within an entire region. To arrive at a total estimate, researchers may set up sample plots around the region and count all species within the plots. The sizes of the plots can vary depending on the physical characteristics of the locale.

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For example, plots in northern forests may be as large as a hectacre whereas in dense rainforest a plot might only be a few meters. Another indicator of biodiversity which researchers often track and measure are keystone species, which are integral to ecosystem processes. Measuring biodiversity on an ecosystem level is thought to be a better way of looking at the health of the entire system, rather than the health of a particular species. However, it faces many of the same challenges measuring species and genetic diversity do — primarily in cost and the lack of standardization.

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Researchers have only begun taking measurements; this further limits their ability to identify trends since ecosystems tend to change slowly over time. This absence of long-term scientific data remains a particular challenge.

Counting animals and plants, mapping genes, and systematically comparing ecosystems may seem like a lot of trouble for a number that is — ultimately — an estimate. However, the numbers matter.


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In the field of conservation, biodiversity is often a consideration within an area; being able to quantify what is being conserved is imperative to good planning and management.