Getting the Measure of Diversity: A Macro-ecological Perspective
Presented by Kartik Shanker, Navendu Page & SP Vijayakumar
Describing diversity and its causes is a long-standing pursuit in ecology and evolutionary biology. There have been a lot of recent exciting developments in the field of macro ecology towards understanding patterns and drivers of diversity at multiple spatial and temporal scales. There are, however, many methods of measuring and estimating diversity, and it is not always clear which is the most appropriate for a particular research question.In this workshop, we will break diversity down into its main elements, richness and evenness, and examine how these are best measured/estimated. We then examine various facets of diversity, from point (alpha) diversity to turnover (beta), and at multiple spatial scales. We also explore models which combine the effects of environment and species ranges to create null models of distribution, which can be compared with empirical patterns of diversity at large spatial scales. Our knowledge of diversity itself remains incomplete for many taxonomic groups, due both to an incomplete knowledge of taxonomy and distribution. We therefore also discuss methods of sampling to maximise coverage of taxa, especially for groups with poor taxonomic knowledge.
Note: Participants are required to bring their laptops for this workshop.