This accessible and timely book provides a comprehensive overview of how to measure biodiversity. Measuring Biological Diversity highlights new developments, including innovative approaches to measuring taxonomic distinctness and estimating species richness, and evaluates these alongside traditional methods such as species abundance distributions, and diversity and evenness statistics.
- Helps the reader quantify and interpret patterns of ecological diversity, focusing on the measurement and estimation of species richness and abundance.
- Explores the concept of ecological diversity, bringing new perspectives to a field beset by contradictory views and advice.
- Discussion spans issues such as the meaning of community in the context of ecological diversity, scales of diversity and distribution of diversity among taxa
- Highlights advances in measurement paying particular attention to new techniques such as species richness estimation, application of measures of diversity to conservation and environmental management and addressing sampling issues
- Includes worked examples of key methods in helping people to understand the techniques and use available computer packages more effectively
1. Introduction: measurement of (biological) diversity
2. The commonness, and rarity, of species
3. How many species?
An index of diversity
Comparative studies of diversity
Diversity in space (and time)
No prospect of an end
Anne E. Magurran is Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of St Andrews. She is interested in the measurement, evolution, and conservation of biological diversity. Her research is focused on the behavior and ecology of freshwater fish in the neotropics (the Brazilian Amazon, Trinidad, and Mexico) and in Britain.
"It is a blessing that the book has been rewritten, as it saves us from scouring second-hand bookshops; it was a text that was borrowed from libraries and disappeared [...] Anne Magurran, while providing an invaluable practical handbook, also explains difficulties in a very readable style [...] But this book is not just recommended to working ecologists – it is essential."
– Tony Andrew, University of Ulster, Times Higher Education Supplement, March 2004
"To ecologists and conservation biologists who work with biodiversity, for more than a decade the name 'Magurran' has meant an essential little book on measuring biodiversity Ecological Diversity and Its Measurement, 1988. Now Anne Magurran has written a thorough update Measuring Biological Diversity, considerably expanded to cover important new developments in the field, including richness estimation, new relative abundance models, and new ways to compare assemblage composition. Throughout, examples from the primary literature are used to illustrate concepts and methods and key methods are presented as worked examples in an appendix. And as before, the new book shines with a blessedly welcome readability, excellent scholarship and plain good sense. Magurran does not shrink from making tough judgments and recommendations that go against 'tradition' in this field. I expect the 'new Magurran' to become an essential reference on researchers' bookshelves and required reading for advanced students in biodiversity studies."
– Professor Robert Colwell, University of Connecticut
"The book provides a useful and in-depth review of statistical and measurement issues related to biological diversity [...] It will be a useful reference book and educational tool for years to come for those interested in the measurement of biological diversity."
– Ecology, December 2004
"This is obviously a finely-crafted book [...] It will be an indispensable guide for any researcher engaged in measuring species diversity or in comparing the richness of different species assemblages. It is, above all, a practical book, clearly laid out, with concise descriptions and worked examples."
– African Journal of Aquatic Science, June 2005