Question

# Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey Data: which biodiversity Indices should be used?

I have a 27-year Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey Data (species list and abundances) for a lake and I want to compare the years and groups of years in terms of their avian diversity. The counts are semi-standardized (for practical purposes I will have to assume they are fully standardized). Which biodiversity indices should I use to compare years and groups of years in terms of their avian diversity?
P.S.: I cannot use R. I only use Excel for now but I have friends who are really good at R.

11th May, 2017
Lianne Acierto
Ateneo de Manila University
For starters, you can use Shannon-Weiner's and Simpson's. Shannon-Weiner's shows you the likelihood of drawing an organism from the same species, while Simpson's shows the dominance of a species, indicating lower diversity. If your sampling was not completely random or biased, you may also use Brillouin's index. There many other diversity indices there, which could be useful to you as well, so I hope I'm able to help.

## Top contributors to discussions in this field

Hi Kaan, if the counts are not standardized it is better to use present-absent estimation. You can use the non-parametric indices Chao 2, Jacknife 1 and 2, Bootstrap.
You can get the diversity per year from the richness estimation using Margalef index, dominance and evenness with Simpsons and Pielou. I am guessing you have over 500 samples, so you can estimate diversity using Fisher's Alpha index.
Jaccard's coefficient will be useful for clustering your data.
I love R but nothing like PAST for ecological analysis.
Good luck.
7th May, 2017
Andrew Paul McKenzie Pegman
University of Auckland
It is common practice to use Shannon or Simpson DI's. They are easy to calculate, even on a scientific calculator lol :)
7th May, 2017
Beckline Mukete
Agrosystems Group
Hi Kaan,
Let's be a bit clear here,annual interspecific (diversity in annual species pool), intraspecific (diversity in annual per species pool) or just a general species diversity for the entire period?You need to be direct in what you want to find out before thinking of methods.
You can use excel to plot the diversity graphs but you will need a statistical software to run a regression analysis or show correlations between your results and determinants of these results.
Goodluck
1 Recommendation
8th May, 2017
İbrahim Kaan Özgencil
Middle East Technical University
8th May, 2017
David Lawrence Bechler
Valdosta State University
The above replies provide good responses and point out various ways to analize the data.  You might want to look at and compare several simimlar means of analyses so as to support the results you get.  Looked at another way, will the various means of analysis show parallel trends, thus reinforcing your findings.
8th May, 2017
Gyula Kovacs
Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape
Dear Kaan,
PAST software is very easy to use and it is for free.
To compare the diversity of rare species will be good the Shannon index, for abundant species the Simpson index. Much better if you use diversity profiles (in is PAST included).
8th May, 2017
Gyula Kovacs
Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape
Shannon, Simpson are alpha diversity indices, but you can use beta diversity indices (Sorensen, Bray-Curtis...).
11th May, 2017
Lianne Acierto
Ateneo de Manila University
For starters, you can use Shannon-Weiner's and Simpson's. Shannon-Weiner's shows you the likelihood of drawing an organism from the same species, while Simpson's shows the dominance of a species, indicating lower diversity. If your sampling was not completely random or biased, you may also use Brillouin's index. There many other diversity indices there, which could be useful to you as well, so I hope I'm able to help.

## Related Publications

Article
Full-text available
A new Importance-Diversity Index is proposed as an enhancement to the traditional Shannon diversity index. The proposed index incorporates an importance weight to each species of organisms found in an ecosystem. The importance weights are derived from four (4) main domains deemed important in conservation biology, namely: (1) species endemicity, (2...
Article
Full-text available
Biological diversity is a key concept in the life sciences and plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes. Although biodiversity is inherently a hierarchical concept covering different levels of organisation (genes, population, species, ecological communities and ecosystems), a diversity index that behaves consistently a...
Article
Study of ecology of mangrove organisms at Yotefa Bay Jayapura has been done from February to December 2012. The main purpose of this study is to collect the ecological data mangrove organism focus on diversity, distribution, richness, and similarity. The study was on organisms which have economical values for people living at the Papua Trade Centre...
Got a technical question?