AQA A Level Biology

Revision Notes

4.6.2 Species Richness

Species Richness

  • Species richness is the number of species within a community
    • A community is a group of populations of different species living in the same place at the same time that interact with each other
  • Species richness is the simplest way to measure species diversity
  • A community with a greater number of species will have a greater species richness score
    • For example, a tropical rain forest has a very high number of different species so it would be described as species-rich
  • Species richness can be a misleading indicator of diversity as it does not take into account the number of individuals of each species
    • For example, habitat A has 10 different plant species and habitat B has 7 different plant species
    • Habitat A would be described as being more species-rich than habitat B
    • However, in habitat A there is only one individual of each plant species present (10 individuals present) while in habitat B there are over 20 individuals of each species present (over 140 individuals present)
    • This example illustrates the limitations of species richness
  • Conservationists often favour the use of an index of diversity as it takes into account species number and evenness

Author: Lára

Lára graduated from Oxford University in Biological Sciences and has now been a science tutor working in the UK for several years. Lára has a particular interest in the area of infectious disease and epidemiology, and enjoys creating original educational materials that develop confidence and facilitate learning.
Close

Join Save My Exams

Download all our Revision Notes as PDFs

Try a Free Sample of our revision notes as a printable PDF.

Join Now
Already a member?
Go to Top