What is species disparity?

1 Answer
May 3, 2018

How different species are from each other.


Species diversity is defined as being the number of species present in an ecosystem. Disparity, on the other hand, is how morphologically different they are from each other. For example, an ecosystem with one species of grass, one rabbit, and a hawk would have very low diversity, but very high disparity.

In contrast, some ecosystems have a huge amount of diversity, but when you compare the species together, you might find that all the primary producers are very similar types of grass or tree, and all the primary consumers are either deer or very similar to deer. Then, some of the top predators might be eagles and hawks, which are somewhat similar to one another. In this case, the species disparity is lower but the diversity is higher.