Summary

The Shannon-Wiener index of species diversity is one of many examples of species diversity indices. It has proved to be a popular index because of its simplicity and because sample size has little effect on the index. Ecological indices and ecological indicators are not the same but both have wide practical applications in ecological monitoring and in state of the environment reporting. The term indicator has become popularized and unfortunately is commonly used to refer to ecological variables, indices, and indicators. There is a need for a more rigorous use of these terms.

See also: Abiotic and Biotic Diversity in the Biosphere;

Biodiversity; Ecosystem Health Indicators; Entropy;

Margalef's Index; Simpson Index.

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