Measuring diversity and the reasons for maintaining it
Species diversity is described as the number of species in a community. The more species, the higher the diversity. What if there are two separate communities like this:
Community #1 has 150 individuals per each of 20 different species (3000 individuals in total)
Community #2 has 10 individuals per each of 19 species, and 2990 individuals of the last species (3000 individuals in total)
It doesn’t take a complex formula to figure out that community #1 is far more diverse compared to community #2, despite them having the same number of species and individuals. The distribution of individuals to species is important in determining a community’s diversity.
The above example is easy enough, but for most purposes a formula is needed. This formula measures the index of diversity, which is simply a measure of diversity in a community. By calculating it and obtaining a numerical value, different communities can be…