You are on page 1of 33

# Community structure

diversity
composition
keystone species
succession

Species diversity
more food resources
more habitats
more resilience
greater diversity = greater stability

Species diversity
Variety of organisms that make up
the community
Species richness

## Total number of different species

relative abundance

## proportion each species represents

T W O C O M M U N I T I E S C A N H AV E T H E
SAME SPECIES RICHNESS BUT A
D I F F E R E N T R E L AT I V E A B U N D A N C E

BASIC METHODOLOGY
TRANSECT SAMPLING
Line Intercept Transect Sampling:
Measure length of contact by the

## Compare with total length of transect.

Results are usually relative values

cover

## may be curved or circular.

D ATA C O L L E C T I O N

Community Structure
There are several quantitative species diversity indices.

## pi = proportion of individuals in the ith species

s = number of species in the community

## last man to bat 0.400

1941

Mathematical indices
Shannons index
information index
diversity can be measured much
like the information contained in a
the longer and more complex the
code, the greater the diversity).
Affected by evenness
More sp + more even =
greater Shannon index

## Compared to 1st forest stand, this stand has less

species. Also, two species make up 83.5% of the
total tree density.

Shannons index
Calculation

STEP 1:
OBSERVED NUMBERS
TOGETHER TO GET
T O TA L

Shannons index
Calculation

STEP 2:
FOR EACH SPECIES
DIVIDE OBSERVED
N U M B E R S B Y T O TA L

SO 17 /20 = 0.85
THIS IS OUR
P R O P O RT I O N VA L U E P I

Shannons index
Calculation

STEP 3:
TA K E T H E N AT U R A L
LOG OF PI
N AT U R A L L O G O F 0 . 8 5
= -0.163

STEP 4:
- 0 . 1 6 3 M U LT I P LY B Y P I
0.163 X 0.8 = -0.139

STEP 5:
TOGETHER AND
CHANGE THE SIGN
STEP 6:
R E P E AT S T E P S 1
THROUGH 5 FOR EACH
ECOSYSTEM

STEP 7:
C O M PA R E E C O S Y S T E M S

Pop 2

Pop 1

## If the species are evenly

distributed then the H value would
Values of the Shannon's diversity
index for real communities
typically fall between 1.5 and 3.5.

## High values of H represent

more diverse communities

Pop 1

Pop 2

## RANK ABUNDANCE CURVES

Species diversity indices allow ecologists to compare
different communities.
Graphical representations of species diversity can give a
more explicit view of commonness or rarity.
Rank abundance curves plot the proportional abundance
of each species (pi) relative to the others in rank order.

## ARE SPECIES COMMON OR RARE?

Rank-abundance diagram
slower slope = higher evenness
longer length of curve = higher species

S P E C I E S D I V E R S I T Y: S I M P S O N S I N D E X

Mathematical indices
Simpson index
diversity
2 random samples contain
same taxon
Low # = 0 = all taxa equally
present
High # = 1 = one taxon
dominant

COMMUNITY SIMILARITY
Another one is Percent Similarity (PS)
Based on the relative abundance
PS= add the lowest percentage for each species that

## the communities have in common

PS=29.7+4.7+4.3+
+0.4=47.2
PS ranges from 0 to 100

SPECIES RICHNESS
AND SPECIES
EVENNESS

PAT T E R N S O F
SPECIES RICHNESS
Species richness changes with

## latitude (distance from

equator)
The closer a community is to

## the equator, the more species

it will contain
Species richness greater in

## tropical rain forests

Cover 3% of planet but

HYPOTHESIS 1

## Temperate habitats are younger

Formed from since last ice age
Tropical habitats not affected

by ice ages

tropics

## greater extent than in

temperate regions where
climate changes more

HYPOTHESIS 2

## photosynthesis year round

in tropics there is more
energy to support more
organisms

## Probably the species

richness is a combination
of several things

## THE SPECIESAREA EFFECT

Another pattern of species

## richness is that larger areas

usually have more species
than smaller areas

## This is the species-area effect

Most often applied to islands
Area clearly limited by

geography