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BIO205 Quadrat Sampling and Biodiversity Metrics Activity

BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 1 QUADRAT SAMPLING ACTIVITY & BIODIVERSI TY METRICS OVERVIEW One of the most basic and important characteristics of a biological community is species diversity . Diversity is surprisingly tricky to measure, and there are many possible approaches. The simplest measure of diversity is species richness – the number of species occurring at a site or given community. However, relying on richness can obscure other i mportant aspects of community structure, in particular, the species evenness (i.e., the relative abundance of different species in the community). For instance, a community that is numerically dominated by a single species is less diverse than another com munity where many species are equally abundant, even if both communities have the same species richness. For this activity, you will practice collecting data from the field** and compare species diversity using different diversity metrics that incorporate species richness and evenness. This will be a simplified version of the field activity conducte d during the in -person lab and you will be able to apply what you learn on a much larger scale when you analyze the large data set for your formal lab report. **Yo u are encouraged to complete a local outdoor activity (if it is safe for you to do so). However, if that is not possible, images/videos of quadrats from the UTM campus will be made available for observation/ analysis. … BUT FIRST, WE’LL GO THROUGH A SIMPLE EXAMPLE. Given the 2 quadrats below (Figure 1) , determine the following: 1. Total species richness and abundance for each quadrat. 2. Simpson’s Index of Diversity (D) for each quadrat . 3. Sørensen’s Index of Similarity (S) between the quadrats . Figure 1. Two 0.5m 2 quadrats. Note: the smaller dotted red square represents a 10x10cm area used to estimate the total number green circles in the larger quadrat (this will be further explained later in the example). BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 2 1. Determ ine total species richness. To do this, we first need to identify/distinguish all of the different species present. We can then simply count how many of each species is present in each quadrat (see Table 1). Table 1. Species and abundance data for example quadrats 1 &2 . **Note that for Species 2 (the green circles), we’ve estimated the total number of individuals in the 0.5m 2 quadrats by counting the number in a smaller area and multiplying by the appropriate factor . E.g., In this case, 25 of the smaller squares fit into the main 0.5 m2 quadrat . The green circles are evenly spread throughout Quadrat 1 so we can just multiply the number in the smaller square by 25 to get a reasonable estimate of the number of green circles in the entire quadrat . For Quadrat 2, we only multipli ed by 12.5 since the green circles are evenly spread over ~half of the quadrat. 2. Determine Simpson’s Index of Diversity ( D). Simpson’s Index is a measure of diversity that incorporates information about species richness , as well as relative abundance of each species in the community. Simpson’s Index of Diversity ( D) is given by the following formula: D = ∑ () = where pi represents relative abundance ( = number of a specific species/ total quadrat abundance ). We square each of the relative abundance values for a given species within the quadrat , sum these squared values and then take the inverse of this sum (see Table 2) . Simpson’s Index ranges from a minimum value of 1 to a maximum value equal to the number of species in the community (when all species all species have equal abundances) – the greater the value , the greater the evenness of the community. Table 2. Determining Simpson’s Index of Diversity ( D) for example quadrats 1 & 2. BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 3 3. Determine Sørensen’s Index of Similarity ( S): Sørensen’s Index of Similarity can be used to determine the degree of similarity between tw o samples (e.g., between the two example quadrats or between two different habitats, etc .). Sørensen’s Index of Similarity is g iven by the formula: S = 2c / (a + b) Where: c = # of species in common a = total # of species in sample 1 b = total # of species in sample 2 A complete lack of similarity results in a value of zero and complete similarity results in a value of 1, thus the value can also be expressed as percent similarity (e.g., a calculated value of 0.10 would indicate a 10% similarity between the two habitats). … for our example quadrats from Figure 1 : a = 4, b = 5, and c = 3 Therefore, S = (2 x 3)/(4 + 5) = 0.67 So there is a 67% similarity between example quadrats 1 & 2 . LOCAL OUTDOOR QUADRAT SAMPLING ACTIVITY In this activity, y ou will be making your own quadrat s to collect data and compare plant diversity between 2 different locations near where you live (alternative supplementary pictures/videos will be provided for students that are not able to safely complete the outdoor quadrat sampling ). Step 1 – Making a 0.5 -m2 quadrat from household materials. A quadrat is simply a square frame (of standard size ) that you can use to mark out your sampling area (Figure 2 ). Students would normally use custom -made metal quadrats for our in -person field data collection activities but you can make your own 0.5 -m2 quadrat using 2 meters of string or yarn and 4 simple corner pegs (e.g., pencils, plastic forks, anything you can stick in the ground to help hold the shape of the quadrat). Figure 2 . (Left) 0.5 -m2 metal quadrat that we would normally use for the in-person field data collection activity . (Right) A homemade 0.5 -m2 quadrat constructed using 2-m of string and 4 sharpened pencils for corner pegs . BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 4 Step 2 – Choose your sampling location(s) 1. Select the 2 different sampling locations that you would like to compare. You will collect data for one quadrat in each location. Please make sure you choose sampling locations where you can maintain physical distancing and safely follow all COVID -19 protocols for your region . Some examples include:  Backyard lawn vs. lawn near a busy sidewalk  Playing field in a local park vs. your lawn at home  Sunny area vs. shady area  Etc . 2. Record the location(s) and general description(s) of your quadrats on your Raw Data Collection Sheet (see the end of this document for an example Raw Data Collection Sheet that you could use ). ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTIONS – if you are not able to safely collect data outside in y our region, pictures/videos for two different quadrats will be available via Quercus . You can use these resources to collect data and complete the activity. Step 3 – Identifying the plants in your quadrat s 1. Place your quadrat down on the ground in your chosen location(s) and i dentify all of the different plant species (this DOES include higher branches from trees or bushes that cross over your quadrat but DOES NOT include dead plants or fallen leaves ) using a plant ID app . We usually use the PlantNet app ( ) to identify the plants for this course but you may be more familiar with other apps (e.g., iNaturalist - ). You may also have access to other plant ID guides specific for you r region . a. Usin g these plant ID apps will be much more reliable if you can take close -up pictures of the actual plants y ou are trying to identify. b. If you are still unsure of an identification even after using the a pps (or other guides) , you can include a short description of your unknown and a tentative ID . You can also use indicators such as “ Unknown 1, Unknown2, etc .” if you are unable to figure out the actual plant name(s). c. Record this information in your Raw Data Collection Sheet. 2. Count and record the numb er of individuals of each species . a. For extremely abundant species that are uniformly distributed in your entire quadrat (e.g., grasses in the disturbed lawn habitat) you can count the number of individuals in a smaller, 10cm x 10cm, area and then multipl y by an appropriate factor to get the total number of individuals in the full 0.5m 2 quadrat. ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTIONS – Identify and count all of the plant species visible in the quadrat pictures/video links provided.  NOTE : The plant ID apps will be less reliable for t he supplementary pictures/videos (compared to being able to actually see and take close -up pictures of the plants in person) , but you may still be able to identify the plants in the quadrat pictures using the UTM Campus Plant ID guide. You can also simply label each diff erent type of plant as “Unknown1, Unknown 2, etc.) . Additional information and tips about the quadrats will also be available with the supplementary materials. Step 4 – Diversity Metric Calculations Calculate: 1. Total species richness and abundance for each quadrat. 2. Simpson’s Index of Diversity ( D) for each quadrat. 3. Sørensen’s Index of Similarity ( S) between the quadrats. BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 5 Step 5 – Complet e the qu adrat activity wor ksheet submission (see Instructions below) . Worksheet Instructions The assessment for this activity involve s answering the following questions via a Quercus quiz link (the questions below will be repeated in the quiz link with spaces for you to enter your answers ). We will be exporting and saving all of the data entered for possible use in future offerings of BIO205 and/or other courses so it is important that you carefully follow the data entry/formatting instructions for each question . Your answers will be checke d for reasonable effort and completion. 1. Did you collect your own quadrat data or did you use the UTM campus quadrat pictures /video to complete this activity (select the appropriate answer below) ? a. I collected my own data. b. I used the UTM campus quadra t pictures /video . General Sampling Location Information Please indicate the appropriate country, province/state/region, and city in the spaces below. NOTE: If using the UTM campus quadrat pictures, use the lo cation information provided for those pictures. 2. Country: 3. Province/State/Region : 4. City: GPS coordinates of your quadrats. You can find these values using Google Maps or with any free GPS software that works on your phone. E.g., The GPS coordinates of the street sign at the corner of The Collegeway entrance and The Outer Cir cle Road of the UTM campus should be written as : 43.546645, -79.660980. 5. GPS Coordinates for Quadrat 1: 6. GPS Coordinates for Quadrat 2: Briefly describe the two different quadrats you have chosen for comparison. 7. Description of Quadrat 1: E.g., Quadrat 1 is in the center of my backyard and doesn’t get walked on very much. There is also a large tre e tha t shades most of the backyard so it doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. 8. Description of Quadrat 2: E.g., Quadrat 2 is next to a busy sidewalk in front of my house. Quadrat Sampling Raw Data Enter plant names and amounts for each quadrat. Th ese data will be saved for future use so please take care to enter your information using the following format . You should use the scientific name whenever possible (e.g . Norway maple is Acer platanoides ) followed by a space and the amount, then a comma and a space before entering the next plant name. For example: Acer platanoides 2, Toxicodendron radicans 5, Poacea 200, Unknown1 3, Unknown2 6 9. Quadrat 1 Raw Data : 10. Quadrat 2 Raw Data : Diversity Metrics Determine species richness, total abundance, and Simpson’ s Index of Diversity for each quadrat. Also determine Sørensen’s Index of Similarity between the two quadrats. Please only enter your final values in the spaces provided. 11. Species richness for Quadrat 1: 12. Species richness for Quadrat 2: 13. Total abundance for Quadrat 1: 14. Total abundance for Quadrat 2: 15. Simpson’s Index of Diversity for Quadrat 1: 16. Simpson’s Index of Diversity for Quadrat 2: 17. Calculate S ørensen’s Index of Similarity between the two quadrats: BIO205 (F2021 ) – Quadrat Sampling & Biodiversity Metrics Activity 6 RAW DATA COLLECTION SHEET Country: Province/State/Region: City: QUADRAT 1 QUADRAT 2 GPS Coordinates: GPS Coordinates: General Description : General Description : Plant Identification How many? Plant Identification How many?

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