Indicator groups and faunal richness
Species richness is a popular indicator of ecosystem vitality, but is difficult to assess. Many natural resource managers seek an efficient bioindicator, but the link between candidate indicators and the richness of other taxononic groups remains elusive. A series of faunal surveys in the Mbalmayo Forest Reserve in Cameroon suggest that it may be possible to devise faunal bioindicators. The species richness of birds, of butterflies and of termites is significantly correlated with total faunal richness across eight species groups, suggesting that these groups may have potential as bioindicators, alone or in combination. Although expensive, further research is warranted because of the substantial potential benefits and implications of the use of indicator groups.
Vanclay, JK 2004, 'Indicator groups and faunal richness', Forest Biometry, Modelling and Information Sciences, vol. 1, pp. 105-113.