Analysis: Biodiversity

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Garlic mustard quadrat study!

Do invasive species affect biodiversity?

Use the VS export table and Excel to create simple bar graphs using species data and biodiversity counts. Then compare the biodiversity counts where invasive species were found with the biodiversity counts where invasive species were not found. Is biodiversity different where invasive species are found?

How-To Guide


MISSION STEPS


SORT AND EXPORT YOUR DATASET

1. Launch the Export Data table

2. Click the "Change Search" button

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Search for your dataset

  • Select a species from the pulldown list
    1. Try purple loosestrife!
  • Click “ID confirmed” to only see observations confirmed by experts
  • Search

3. Select the data groups you want to see:

  • Check "Species Observations"
  • Check "General Analysis"
  • View data

4. Click the "Export data" link and save the file to your desktop


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Clean up the data in Excel

OPEN AND CLEAN UP THE FILE IN EXCEL OR NUMBERS

1. Open your file in Excel or Numbers

2. Sort by "Diversity of species," and delete all rows that do NOT have a biodiversity count

3. Sort by "Sampling method," and delete all rows that do NOT have "Quadrat-"

4. Sort by the "Found/Not Found" column to separate out the found and not found observations

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Graph biodiversity counts


5. Average the biodiversity counts in the "Diversity of species" column for:

  • "Found" observations
  • "Not found" observations

6. Using these 2 numbers, create a simple bar graph that shows the average biodiversity when your invasive species was found, and when your invasive species was looked for but not found


What Does It Mean?

1. Is biodiversity higher, lower, or the same when invasive species are found?

2. Why do you think this is?

  • Do you think the biodiversity counts are correct?
  • Do you think it’s because of how long the invasive species has been there?
  • Do you think the characteristics of each species or type of habitat matter?

3. Do you think this is true of all invasive species? What’s your prediction? How will you test it?


Share What You Learned

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1. Do Projects! Post your graph and explanation to the VS blog, shoot a PSA, more!

2. Create your own Field Mission to get the VS community collecting biodiversity counts and species observations for YOU!

Curriculum resources for educators