(6A) Kite diagrams to show
abundance and distribution of organisms
Kite diagrams are used to show abundance and distribution of
organisms along a transect.
The transect can be measured out in a linear way across
a habitat e.g. a field, a stretch of woodland, a rive bank - methods of
surveying and using quadrats has already been described in previous
You might counting the abundance of identified
species in 1 m2 quadrats.
A kite diagram could also be produced based on the depth
of an aquatic or marine environment, where the transect is simply a
vertical sampling line - you sample the water a fixed depth intervals.
You might be counting the number of identified
species in given volume of water e.g. 1 litre.
An example of a kite diagram is shown below involving
counting three species at 1 m intervals.
The vertical y axis represents the abundance
of the organism e.g.
the percentage cover in vegetation or lichen on a
It might represent the number of crustaceans per
volume of water,
or any other quantitative measure of the abundance
of an organism.
The abundance is plotted above and below the zero
base line to give a symmetrical shape (often 'kite looking').
The relative abundance of each organism at a
given distance along the transect is given by the thickness
of the 'kit shape'
The horizontal x axis is the distance
along the line of the transect.
Examples of interpreting a kite diagram (based on
the diagram above)
To the nearest m, it occurs twice between 1 and
24 m, and, 32 and 45 m along the transect.
The maximum abundance of 14% occurs at 5 m and
18.5 m along the transect.
To the nearest m, it occurs three times at 1-10
m, 11-36 and 38-55 m along the transect.
The maximum abundance of 14% occurs at 29 m and
43 m along the transect.
To the nearest m, it occurs once between 35 and
56 m along the transect.
The maximum abundance of 22% occurs at 51 m
along the transect.
(6B) Graphical representations of biodiversity and ecology data
Examples (B = x axis, A = y axis)
Graph 1 Positive correlation
Variable B could be distance in km from a polluted
urban area into farmland and woodlands.
Variable A could be a measure of biodiversity e.g. all species of
animals or perhaps specific type of organism like butterflies.
A not unsurprising positive correlation as the environment
becomes less polluted.
Graph 2 Negative correlation
Variable B could be the concentration of a pollutant
in a lake.
Variable A could be the population density
(concentration) of an organism affected by the pollution.
A not unsurprising negative correlation, increase in pollution
levels, decreases the population of an organism.
Graph 3 No obvious correlation
Variable B could be the distance from the centre of
deciduous woodland to the edge of the wood.
Variable A could be the population density of a
particular organism e.g. a fungus growing on the ground.
If the woodland is fairly constant in composition, then you not
expect any gradation in the density of the population of the fungus.
TOP OF PAGE
of biology notes on ecological surveying
INDEX of all my BIOLOGY NOTES
This is a BIG website, so try using the [SEARCH
BOX], it maybe quicker than the many indexes!
brown - comments - query?
UK KS3 Science Quizzes for
KS3 science students aged ~11-14, ~US grades 6, 7 and 8
Biology * Chemistry
* Physics UK
GCSE/IGCSE students age ~14-16, ~US grades 9-10
Advanced Level Chemistry
for pre-university ~16-18 ~US grades 11-12, K12 Honors
Find your GCSE/IGCSE
science course for more help links to all science revision notes
mobile phone or ipad etc. in 'landscape' mode?
Website content © Dr
Phil Brown 2000+. All copyrights reserved on revision notes, images,
quizzes, worksheets etc. Copying of website material is NOT
permitted. Exam revision summaries & references to science course specifications