Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 127-134.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08171

• Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Re-evaluating the character and application of density-group index (DG)

Chonghui Liao*(), Jianxiong Li   

  1. Guangdong Institute of Entomology, Guangzhou 510260
  • Received:2008-07-21 Accepted:2009-02-10 Online:2009-03-20 Published:2009-03-20
  • Contact: Chonghui Liao


The DG index is established to evaluate the diversity of soil animal community. The theoretical basis of the DG index is that the non-interference and mutual benefit relationships are stronger than competition among soil animal groups, thus each group considered in the formula is independent. The DG index indicates the abundance and the importance of species implicitly. Since 1990, DG index has been successfully applied in the studies in different geographic locations and ecosystems with different soil animal communities. Compared with Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H'), the community diversity evaluated by the DG index is much more consistent with the actual habitat conditions in most cases. The scenario analysis demonstrates that Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') may conflict with DG index if the differences in species and evenness are in contrary values (+ vs -) in two communities. We re-evaluated the features of soil animal community diversity and the applications of different indices, and found that it is not suitable to use the evenness as an important index because the homogeneity of quantitative distribution of soil animal community is rare in reality. Although the DG index is simple, it has been tested widely in various situations and holds a good potential as an index of soil animal diversity.

Key words: soil animal community, DG index, diversity notion, test