2.6.1 - Studying biodiversity


Biodiversity is the variety of different organisms:

  • Biodiversity- The variety of living organisms in an area 
  • Species- A group of similar organisms able to reproduce to give fertile offspring
  • Habitat- The area inhabited by a species. It includes the physical factors, like the soil and temperature range, and the living (biotic) factors, like the availability of food or the presence of predators. Areas with high biodiversity are those with lots of different species 

Biodiversity can be considered at different levels:

  • Habitat diversity- The number of different habitats in an area. For example, a coastal area could contain many different habitats- beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes etc. 
  • Species diversity- The number of different species and abundance of each species in an area
  • Genetic diversity- The variation of alleles within a species (or a population of species) 

Sampling to measure biodiversity: 

Choose an area to sample- a small area within the habitat being studied.


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