Biodiversity of fish populations

Assignment Summary
Your second data report will use the Shannon-Weiner Index to answer the following research question:
How does the biodiversity of fish populations change across depth habitats in the Indian River Lagoon?
The final data report will compare the data from this report to data that will be collected in November. Both papers involve a good deal of time and effort

on your part. Please plan ahead.

Note: All lab reports are an individual effort. You are encouraged to discuss results with your classmates, but you must write the report by yourself. Any

copying of text, graphs, charts, or figures from each other will be considered cheating and all involved parties will receive a score of 0% on the paper.


A separate page including the title of the paper, your name, date, section, and the name of your TA.

2. ABSTRACT (1 pt)

The abstract is a short (one paragraph, 5-8 sentences) summary of the report. Include brief statements describing:
• Purpose (why the study was done)
• Methods (how the study was conducted)
• Results (what the study discovered)
• Implications (why the results are important).


The introduction provides background information from the peer-reviewed literature on the topic and the study area. Describe what is already known about

the topic. Who has conducted studies similar to this one, and why? Why would someone not in this class or in the field of biology care about biodiversity?

1. General background:
• What is biodiversity, and why is it important to measure?
• Relevant background on Indian River Lagoon. Why is the IRL an important ecosystem? In what ways is this ecosystem important to the local

community? Why is it important to study fish biodiversity here?
• What have previous studies discovered about fish biodiversity in the IRL, or similar estuarine ecosystems in the region? Has diversity changed

through time?

2. Rationale, Research Question & Hypothesis:

• Rationale for this study: Why are the questions investigated during this study important? What is the potential greater significance of the findings?
• Research Question: You must address the following research question. You may add additional research questions regarding fish size or fish

1. How does the biodiversity of fish populations change across depth habitats in the IRL?
• Hypothesis: Must include two key components.
1. A statement of the predicted outcome.
2. A brief explanation of what the results will show if the hypothesis is found to be true: “If the hypothesis is correct, then…”

Note: You must cite at least 5 peer-reviewed sources in your introduction. These sources must be scholarly scientific journals- see section on references,

this handout.

4. METHODS (2 pts)

Describe the methods used for data collection and data analysis. The reader should be able to repeat your study based on the information described in your

methods. When deciding how much detail to provide, ask yourself: would changing or omitting this information affect the outcome of the study?

• Study area: describe where the study was conducted. Include brief relevant habitat and weather observations.
• Sampling methods: seining protocol, how the fish were captured
• Data collection methods: what data was collected once fish were captured
• Data analysis methods: describe the Shannon Weiner Index. Explain:
1. Why the index was chosen
2. What information the index provides
3. How the index was calculated (briefly define and describe the variables). Do not forget to include both H’ and Hmax. You do not need to discuss each

mathematical step of the calculation. You also need to cite this information: cite the lab powerpoint or primary literature. Here’s how to cite the lab


Carroll, M., and Sales, R. “Lab 3 Lecture: Botanical Gardens”. Biological Discovery 2.
Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL. Fall 2017.

5. RESULTS (9 pts)

1. Describe results in writing:

Describe the results in paragraph form, using complete sentences. Highlight important patterns that will be discussed in the discussion section. Do not

discuss the significance of results here.

• Describe relationships between fish biodiversity and depth habitat. Thoroughly discuss patterns of species abundance, diversity, or evenness

observed between habitats.
• Discuss observed patterns of fish size between depth habitats. Do not simply make a list of figures and tables. Refer directly to specific figures

and tables. Example: The majority of Mojarra caught in knee-deep water were between 50 and 59 millimeters (Fig. 2).

Sample Solution