Ecology and Simpsons Diversity Index
These activities allow students to model how environmental scientists compare diversity in different ecosystems by using ordinary playing cards as ‘species’ to generate data to calculate Simpson’s Diversity Index. This can be completed in a single lesson. Some students find the concept of species diversity quite difficult, confusing diversity with species richness. This simple exercise allows them to rapidly generate data and use a structured recording sheet to calculate Simpson’s Index, D, and Simpson’s Diversity Index, 1 – D.
Students then plan an investigation to find the Simpson's Diversity Index of an ecosystem. To compare ecosystems, students must use the same sampling method and compare the same organisms, such as the diversity of the invertebrates in a clean and a polluted stream, or insects in a woodland compared to a field.
Show health and safety information
Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.