Vermont Forest Indicators Dashboard

Tree Species Diversity

Score for 2017:
Long-Term Trend:
Scores are 
The number of different tree species and abundance of each species are used to quantify forest diversity. A forest with higher diversity is more resilient to stresses, like extreme weather events and outbreaks of insects and diseases; as a result, it is able to maintain a higher ecological function compared to a less diverse forest1. Higher diversity forests can add more biomass, store more carbon, and provide more varied habitat and food sources for wildlife. Here, forest diversity is assessed using the Shannon-Weiner Index using the proportion of trees per species. The current year is scored as the distance between the established thresholds of 1.5 and 3.52, scaled to be between 0 and 1.
1Whittaker, R.H., 1972. Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon, pp.213-251.
2MacDonald, G.M. 2003. Biogeography: space, time and life.