Historical Harbor Habitats
Your feedback is important to us!
After viewing our curriculum units, please take a few minutes to help us understand how the units, which were created by public school teachers, may be useful to others.
Species diversity is a characteristic of a community structure. The most useful measures of species diversity are the determination of the number of species (richness) and the distribution of individuals among species (evenness) in a community. A community with high species diversity has many equal of nearly equally abundant species within it. On the other hand a community consisting of very few species or if only a few species are abundant then species diversity is low. High species diversity indicates a complex community with a larger array of species interaction. This means that food webs are more complex. Some ecologists have stated that species diversity is a measure of community stability. They have used Diversity Index calculations to determine the maturity of a community under the idea that communities become more complex and stable as they mature. Students will calculate a species diversity index for the communities in-which they will sample from in Activity 5 (Brower et al. 1998)