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A comparison between diversity, similarity and biotic indices applied to the macroinvertebrate community of a small stream: the Ravella river (Como Province, Northern Italy)
Ravera, O. (2001). A comparison between diversity, similarity and biotic indices applied to the macroinvertebrate community of a small stream: the Ravella river (Como Province, Northern Italy). Aquat. Ecol. 35(2): 97-107
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Population density

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  • Ravera, O.

Abstract
    This study aimed at comparing the results obtained by processing a series of data according to several diversity indices (Simpson, Berger-Parker, Margalef, Menhinick, McIntosh, Shannon) and one similarity index (Jaccard) with those obtained from two biotic indices (Trent River Biotic Index, Extended Biotic Index). In addition, Cody‘s index was adopted to measure the species turnover along the stream gradient. The source of the data was a study of the seasonal variations of macroinvertebrates from the Ravella stream (Como Province, Northern Italy). The conclusions are the following. There is clearly a certain connection between the organic debris in the habitat, the abundance of individuals and the decrease in the diversity value of the macroinvertebrate association. The species turnover along the stream gradient is rapid which is due, in addition to birth and death rates, to the fact that most of the insects emerge as terrestrial adults. The species abundance distribution is a very simple and powerful tool for describing and comparing the species diversity from different sampling stations. Any type of monitoring (e.g., biotic indices, diversity indices) is useful in comparing non-polluted and heavily polluted environments. Conversely, small differences between species associations are better highlighted if diversity indices with high discriminant ability (e.g., Simpson‘s index) or species abundance distribution are used rather than biotic indices.

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