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On species richness and rarefaction: size- and coverage-based techniques quantify different characteristics of richness change in biodiversity

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posted on 09.07.2018 by Hideyasu Shimadzu
Changes in biodiversity today shape the future patterns of biodiversity. This fact underlines the importance of understanding changes in biodiversity through time and space. The number of species, known as species richness, has long been studied as a key indicator that quantifies the state of biodiversity, and standardisation techniques, called rarefaction, have also been used to undertake a fair comparison of the richness observed at different times or locations. The present study asks whether utilising different rarefaction techniques attains comparable results when investigating changes in species richness. The study framework presents the statistical nature of two commonly adopted rarefaction techniques: size-based and coverage-based rarefaction. The key finding is that the rarefied richness results calculated by these two different rarefaction methods reflect different aspects of biodiversity change, the shift in community size and/or composition. This fact illuminates that richness analyses based on different rarefaction techniques can reach different conclusions that may be contradictory. The study also investigates the mechanism creating such divergence. As such, special care is required when evaluating biodiversity change using species richness as an indicator.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

Journal of Mathematical Biology

Citation

SHIMADZU, H., 2018. On species richness and rarefaction: size- and coverage-based techniques quantify different characteristics of richness change in biodiversity. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 77 (5), pp.1363–1381

Publisher

Springer Verlag (© The authors)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

19/06/2018

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ISSN

1432-1416

Language

en

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