Assessing Species Diversity (Chapter 18) Flashcards Preview

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What is the first task when assessing species diversity?

To identify and catalogue the types of organisms and build a species list


What are used to identify organisms found?

- Identification keys
- Most common = dichotomous key
- If you can't identify the organism, take photos and label the species as species A etc


What is a pooter and how does it work?

- Apparatus used to collect small animals e.g. insects
1) breathe air into the mouth of the pooter, sucking up small animals into a plastic container
2) remove and study the animals and then returns them to their habitat


What would be the ideal way to find out which species are present in an ecosystem and the size of populations but why is this not normally done?

- Ideal method = to find, identify and count every single organism in an ecosystem
- BUT can only do this if the area is very small or the species are very large
- Instead, samples are taken from the area and used to make an estimate of the total numbers in the area


What are the two things sampling can be?

1) random
2) systematic


When is it best to use random sampling?

If an area looks reasonably uniform, or if there is no clear pattern to the way species are distributed


What do you use for random sampling?

A quadrat


What is a quadrat?

A square frame that marks off an area of ground or water, where you can identify the different spices present and/or take a measurement of their abundance


What 2 things do you need to decide on about the quadrat before using it

1) need to decide on a suitable size for the quadrat (e.g. 1m2)
2) how many samples you will take


Why must samples be taken randomly?

To avoid any bias


How could bias be present?

If you choose the place with the fewest species to take all the samples because it is the easiest, this would not be representative of the whole area being surveyed


How do you ensure that your sample is random?

Mark out an area with measuring tapes and use a random number generator e.g. app on phone to generate random numbers which give you the coordinates of the sampling points in relation to the two tapes used to mark out the area


What is species frequency?

A measure of the chance of a particular species being found within any one quadrat


How do you work out species frequency?

1) record whether species was present in each quadrat placed
2) e.g. if found daises in 22 quadrats out of 50: species frequency = 22/50 x 100 =44%


What is species density?

A measure of how many individuals there are per unit area e.g. per m2


How do you work out species density?

The number of individuals counted is divided by the total area of the quadrats


When would you need to estimate percentage cover of a species within a quadrat?

When it is not possible to count individual plants and animals because of the way they grow e.g. many plants and animals grow over surfaces forming a covering


How would you estimate percentage cover of grass plants on a lawn?

1) use 1mx1m quadrate with wires running across 10cm intervals in each direction, dividing the quadrat into 100 smaller squares
2) decide approximately what % of the area inside the quadrat is occupied by each species - percentages may not add up to 100% e.g. if bare ground or overlapping plants
3) OR use an abundance scale e.g. Braun-Blanquet scale for plants to estimate percentage cover of each species (assigns value 0-5 for ranges of % cover e.g. >75% = 5)


When can you not use quadrats?

For finding or counting mobile animals


What are methods for counting specific types of mobile animals?

1) small mammals - use traps filled with hay and suitable food as bait
2) insects and invertebrates - sweep netting
3) aquatic organisms - pond nets
4) single birds - can be counted quite easily but more difficult in dense forest
5) flocks of birds - count a group of 10 birds and estimate how many such groups there are


What is a good method of estimating the population size of mobile organisms?

The mark-release-recapture method


Describe how you would use the mark-release-recapture technique to estimate the number of mobile animals

1) catch as many individuals of a species as possible
2) mark each individual, in a way that will not affect its future chance of survival
3) count the marked individuals, return them to their habitat and leave them to mix randomly with the rest of the population
4) when enough time has elapsed for the mixing to take place, capture another large sample
5) count the number of marked and unmarked individuals
6) use the proportion of marked to unarmed individuals to calculate an estimate of the total number in the population
e.g. if 1/10 of the second sample are marked, estimate that the population is 10 x the number caught and marked in the first sample


How do you estimate the number of individuals of a species in a population?

(no caught in first sample x no caught in second sample) / (no in second sample that had been marked)


When is random sampling not suitable for surveying a place?

If you want to investigate how species are distributed in an area where the physical conditions change e.g. altitude, soil pH, light intensity, soil moisture content


How would you use a line transect to investigate the change in species at the edge of a field?

1) randomly select a starting point in the field and lay out a measuring tape in a straight line to the edge of the field
2) sample the organisms that are present along the line (line transect) by recording the identity of the organisms that touch the transect at set distances e.g. every 2m
3) this line transect will give you qualitative data that can be shown as a drawing


How would you use an (interrupted) belt transect to investigate the change in species at the edge of a field?

1) use a (interrupted) belt transect by placing a quadrat at regular intervals along the line and recording the abidance of each species within the quadrat
2) date from a belt transect can be plotted as a set of bar charts or as a kite diagram (x = species, y = distance along line, width of kite = abundance (0-5)


What can the Simpsons Index of Diversity be used for?

To calculate a value for the species diversity in an area


What is the formula for the Simpsons Index of Diversity and what do each of the letters stand for?

- D = 1 - (sum of(n/N)2)
- n = total number of organisms of a particular species
- N= total number of organisms of all species


What do values of D range from?



What do the values of D mean?

- Near 0 = very low species diversity
- Near 1 = very high species diversity

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