Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 4017044

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Monitoring Plant Diversity: Simpson's Index And Species Richness Assessment

Author(s): Bernier, Dan
Subject: British Columbia, Biodiversity, Ecology, Forestry, Integrated resource management, Inventory, Silviculture/Forest Management Systems
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative


Species richness (S) is simply a count of the number of plant species present in a sample plot. When used in combination with diversity indices, a species richness assessment can reveal other trends in plant diversity that the more complex indices may not reveal. At certain points in seral development, it is possible for the Simpson's and Shannon-Wiener indices to decrease while the species richness increases i.e. plant communities transitional between seral stages can result in a more diverse assemblage of species, captured only by the richness measure (Reich et al, 2001).
The objectives of this project are:
to evaluate the effects of forest harvesting on vascular plant diversity in the PG TSA, using the Simpson's Index and species richness counts;
to compare the results with existing Shannon-Wiener index calculations; and
to develop and document a standard protocol for yearly assessments of plant diversity using the Simpson's index, species richness counts, and the Shannon-Wiener index.

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Updated September 08, 2005 

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