Need help measuring biodiversity

Need help measuring biodiversity

Help needed: I need the communities help to better understand how to measure biodiversity in a standards way so that current state and change can be measured over time for any scale of terrestrial area. I have done some preliminary searches on Google scholar, and am aware of a few different indexes, but none of those I have found so far provides/generates the standardised indicator. The indicator I am interested in would simply provide some sort of rating for overall biodiversity in an area. It does not have to be exhaustive i.e. account accurately for every taxonomic groups and species. It just has to provide a standardized inference of the state of biodiversity at any one time or place. For example, the indicator could be related to a taxonomic group that would strongly infer biodiversity of (nearly) all other groups (bird diversity), or could sample representatives of all groups (would soil sampling e-DNA enable that? Any help you could give to point me in the right direction would be most appreciated.

It is important to note, for this, I am NOT interested in indicators that measure:

  • Ecosystem function
  • Ecosystem services
  • Abundance/population size

Why: I am interested in stadardised measures of biodiversity change that could be used for any type of conservation project - to help conservationists set objectives for and report on biodiversity gain that their work contributes to.


Go to the profile of David O'Brien
5 months ago

It rather depends where you are, but if the project is in NW Europe, I recommend the tools developed by the OPAL project ( While the project itself is, I think, over (I'd be delighted if I am wrong on this), the tools are free and are both easy to use and remarkably powerful at measuring biodiversity ( One of the big pluses is that you can get local volunteers and even school children to help out. We intend to produce versions of the freshwater pack in northern European languages (Polish, German, Dutch and potentially Czech) for a project we're working on and will make these freely available once we have field-tested them.

Go to the profile of Adam Barlow
5 months ago

thanks a lot David. i like this approach - but (I think) I am looking for a more techy and less people-power intensive survey solution. But will think about it some more

Go to the profile of Beth Robinson
4 months ago

This paper might interest you, although doesn't tick the low tech approach. Perhaps the issue is too complex to be addressed by a low tech approach, instead, requiring a suite of metricsĀ