Choosing and using diversity indices: insights for ecological applications from the German Biodiversity Exploratories
E. Kathryn Morris, Tancredi Caruso, François Buscot, Markus Fischer, Christine Hancock, Tanja S. Maier, Torsten Meiners, Caroline Müller, Elisabeth Obermaier, Daniel Prati, Stephanie A. Socher, Ilja Sonnemann, Nicole Wäschke, Tesfaye Wubet, Susanne Wurst and Matthias C. Rillig
Article first published online: 28 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1155
Biodiversity is a difficult concept to quantify, partly because of its multidimensional nature, and many simple to complex indices have been developed for this purpose. We collected data on diversity of herbaceous plants, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, aboveground arthropods, belowground insect larvae, and Plantago lanceolata molecular and chemical diversity in 60 temperate grasslands and calculated a variety of simple to complex diversity indices for each (S, H', D1, D2, E, BP). While these common diversity indices appeared interchangeable in simple analyses quantifying changes in diversity, when quantifying interactions between diversities the conclusions varied with the index chosen.