Biodiversity refers to genetic, species and ecosystems varieties within an area. Two main characteristics that should be investigated when considering biodiversity are richness and evenness. Richness is related to the number of different species in the analyzed area, while evenness corresponds to the homogeneity of the abundance of species. For quantifying these features, many indices have been defined, and this paper offers an overview of the most commonly used biodiversity indices, such as Shannon, Simpson, Margalef and Berger-Parker. The paper explains the process of calculating these indices on the case study example of four forest communities and discusses the results obtained. The Jaccard index analysis is used to discover a similarity between the analyzed forest communities. Results from this part of the research are visualized by creating appropriate dendrograms for making the interpretation easier. Calculating and analyzing these indices is useful not only for forest ecosystems, but for the other types of ecosystems as well, including agro-ecosystems. Biodiversity indices can be obtained in thespecialized software, for instance in EstimateS (Statistical Estimation of Species Richness and Shared Species from Samples), or by programming in the statistical package R, as it was done in this research.
This study tested the hypothesis that a third dimension of urban gardening, in the form of green terraces and balconies, is of immense importance to the public well-being, mitigating climate changes and contributing to a more pleasant life in highly urbanized zones. By means of a concise questionnaire, a total of 82 respondents of different age groups (20-70 years of age) were surveyed about their opinion on green terraces, balconies, and roofs, i.e. the plants and flowers they incorporate. The fieldwork and survey responses facilitated the design of ten different spaces in various conditions. The results obtained enabled the selection of plants which could be used in given conditions, depending on wind, insolation, shade, ground levels, precipitation, etc. A total of three different terraces (out of ten) and three different balconies (out of ten) were enrolled in the study. The research results indicate that ten minutes of gardening could reduce stress levels and restore the positive energy of residents. An increase in the overall plant diversity exerts positive aesthetic and ecological effects. Inner-city areas are often sparsely vegetated, devoid of plants, and densely built-up, thus terraces and balconies have the potential to be retrofitted with suitable greenery.