This function is designed to investigate the species richness of a sample within a particular biotope, habitat, microhabitat or resource.
The method for defining species resources was broadly similar to that followed in Natural England Research Report 024 (Webb et. al., 2010). For each species, a literature search was undertaken. All relevant ecological information was extracted and added to a spreadsheet. This information included structural elements of the habitats that the species is generally associated with (e.g. emergent vegetation, seed heads) and/or other environmental factors that it requires, host plant and/or animal species alongside ecological guild of larvae as well as adults where these differed, (e.g. herbivore, carnivore). Only those resources which were considered important to the species in completing its life cycle were included. Cited observations of species in transit, or in abnormal situations, were not included. Initially, this information was in the form of a free text note but, as more species were added, the free text was developed into a set of codes in a series of nested hierarchies which are explained in more detail in the sections below.
Broad Biotopes are a useful way to split sample data into something manageable but which still retains a strong ecological grounding. They include tree-associated, open, wetland and coastal habitats. Species can occur in more than one broad biotope. This occurs when the same habitat has been typed into two divisions. A good example is wet woodland, which is found in both the tree-associated and wetlands.
Habitats are a mid-level category within the hierarchy and often readily identifiable and recognisable by conservation workers (e.g. saltmarsh). Some are identified as broad habitats in the UK but most are new terms used to refer to a series of resources or a series of broad habitat types.
The method for defining species resources was broadly similar to that followed in Natural England Research Report 024 Webb et. al., 2010). Species were typed to structural habitats (e.g. emergent vegetation) and/or other environmental factors (e.g. slow flowing water). Only resources which were considered important for the species completing its life cycle were included. Typing was not attempted for species that are either very catholic or where their ecology was not well defined in the literature.
Also included are types that do not fall within a paricular biotope or habitat. These are split into broad resources, where species are associated with a wide ranging resource, and labels, where species are not associated with a natural habitat.