Biodiversity is a measure of all plants, animals, fungus and all other micro-organisms worldwide. It is a measure of their genes and they ecosystems in which they live.
A habitat is a place where a species lives. The range of different habitats in which different species live is known as the habitat biodiversity. Common habitats in the UK include woodland parks and streams. Each habitat is occupied by a different organism
A species consists of individual organisms that are very similar in appearance, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and genetics. As a result, individuals in a species can interbreed freely and produces fertile offspring. The range of organisms found in a habitat contributes to the species diversity. However, if two organisms had both got the same amounts of different species they would not necessarily both be equally diverse as they may not have the same amount of each species.
For example if a field had 25 species of grass in mass patches all over the place, and a garden lawn had 25 species of grass but 2 dominated and the rest were all dotted about then the field would be more biodiverse as the field has more species evenness. However the field and the law both have the same species richness as they both have the same amount of species.
Genetic biodiversity is the variation between individuals belonging to the same species. The variations between species ensures that we don’t all look identical. Genetic variation can creates breeds within a species such as dogs.
Using samples to measure biodiversity of a habitat
To measure the biodiversity of a habitat, you need to observe all present species, identify them and count them. Ideally this should be done for all plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and other single celled organisms. However, this aspiration would be impossible as counting every animal would be difficult as every day millions die and millions are born.
Therefore, instead of sampling a habitat we have to take a sample of it. Samples taken must show that they are representative of the whole area and therefore we have to use one of the two types of sampling random and non-random. Non-random sampling is split into three further sampling types, opportunistic, stratified and systematic.
Random sampling- This can be done by either choosing however many necessary coordinates at random or even throwing the quadrat across the field blindfolded. This method of sampling ensures that data isn’t biased, however it may not cover all areas of the habitat evenly.
Opportunistic sampling- When the researcher does their sampling based on previous knowledge of the area or decides what to do when they get into the field. The researcher may deliberately sample an area if they know or suspect a species may be in there. This method of sampling is quicker and easier than random sampling however the data could be biased if the researcher uses areas that look like they would be…