Spatial patterns of species diversity in Kenya
Boniface Oluoch Oindo
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It is evident to any biologist that small-bodied species within a given higher taxon (order, class, phylum, etc) tend to be represented by more individuals. Hence smallbodied species are generally more abundant than large-bodied species. We analyzed large herbivore species data collected in Kenyan rangelands. An index of biological diversity derived from the negative relation between animal species body size and its local abundance is proposed. We compared the new index with species abundances at landscape scale (10 x 10 km) in individual districts, as well as in the combined regional data. The results show a consistently strong positive relation between the new diversity index and species abundances. The proposed diversity index has the advantage of incorporating information on species abundances without the need for time-consuming surveys.