You're the Expert - Analyze Your Data

It is your turn to determine the biodiversity of an area that interests you. In this exercise, you will be applying what you have learned about species richness and other measures of biodiversity in the previous exercises.

1. The first step is to choose an area of study. 

For example, you might examine the biodiversity of: 

  • Biofilm-forming organisms living in a nearby creek, stream, river or bay
  • (learn how to make your own biofilm rack).
  • The plant species on the school grounds or at a botanical garden.
  • Microorganisms found in water, soil or air samples.
  • Something about the students in your class. you could study hair color, types of pets (none, breed of dog or cat, fish, birds) or types of pens and pencils (brand, how they work).
  • Your own research project (use your imagination).

2. Identify and count the number of different items.

Remember, the underlying assumptions are: 

  • The categories are well known.
  • All categories are equally different.
  • Use a measure of species importance.
  • The community under study is well defined.

A complete explanation may be found in our discussion about biodiversity