|Measuring biodiversity: quantitative measures of quality|
Pielou, E.C. (1993). Measuring biodiversity: quantitative measures of quality, in: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. pp. 85-95
In: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) (1993). Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. The Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria. ISBN 0-7718-9355-8. XIII, 392 pp., more
Laws to protect tracts of land with high biodiversity will have to contain quantitative specifications, that is, numerical measures of diversity (diversity indexes). It is impracticable to measure the diversity of organisms of all kinds; plants are a useful surrogate, since they both respond to and create the habitat diversity that affects all other life. Indexes of plant diversity are needed that are adequately descriptive and easily understood; they also must be computable from data that can be assembled quickly and cheaply, or that are already on file. Three indexes seem necessary and sufficient for any given tract of land: an estimate of S, the number of plant species; H, the habitat diversity; and R, a measure of the degree of isolation of species populations, as a rough indicator of genetic diversity. This paper describes methods of estimating S, H and R for a given tract of vegetation.