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Simulating Sampling Communities and Calculating Diversity Indices with Scrabble Game Tiles

Using tiles from a Scrabble game, we present methods to create simulations of sampling exercises and to develop diversity indices. The tiles represent species, and so a known sampling universe (100 tiles) allows comparing a sample with the known distribution of species. We then offer several variations to simulate different kinds of sampling (larger sample size, more samples), alter the rarity of species, and simulate the effect on diversity of an invasive species and the subsequent eradication of the invasive. Interactive data sheets are presented to make the calculations, and to allow the exercises to be completed in a 50-minute time period.
Associated files
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
General Biology Competencies
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords sampling, species diversity, diversity index, simulation
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Provide an introduction to sampling, relating samples to an assemblage of species in a habitat, and comparing habitats. Complements and extends the resource on species accumulation curves.
Uniqueness Use of Scrabble tiles to represent species and the entire set to represent an assemblage of species in a habitat. Habitat complexity and increased diversity of species are represented by use of multiple tile sets.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Robert N. Wiedenmann
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Entomology
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Joseph O'Neill, Doria Voorhees
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) Department of Entomology
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Secondary Author Email(s),
Added By Id
  • rnwiedenmann
Submitter Name Robert N. Wiedenmann
Submitter Email
Rights none
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2016-06-03
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2018-10-22 09:01:02
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2018-10-22 09:01:02
Release Flag Published

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