Acta Biotheoretica 56 (4) (2008)
|Abstract||The Shannon information function (H) has been extensively used in ecology as a statistic of species diversity. Yet, the use of Shannon diversity index has also been criticized, mainly because of its ambiguous ecological interpretation and because of its relatively great sensitivity to the relative abundances of species in the community. In my opinion, the major shortcoming of the traditional perspective (on the possible relation of species diversity with information theory) is that species need for an external receiver (the scientist or ecologist) to exist and transmit information. Because organisms are self-catalized replicating structures that can transmit genotypic information to offspring, it should be evident that any single species has two possible states or alternatives: to be or not to be. In other words, species have no need for an external receiver since they are their own receivers. Therefore, the amount of biological information (at the species scale) in a community with one only species would be species, and not bits as in the traditional perspective. Moreover, species diversity appears to be a monotonic increasing function of (or S) when all species are equally probable (S being species richness), and not a function of as in the traditional perspective. To avoid the noted shortcoming, we could use 2H (instead of H) for calculating species diversity and species evenness (= 2H/S). However, owing to the relatively great sensitivity of H to the relative abundances of species in the community, the value of species dominance (= 1 − 2H/S) is unreasonably high when differences between dominant and subordinate species are considerable, thereby lowering the value of species evenness and diversity. This unsatisfactory behaviour is even more evident for Simpson index and related algorithms. I propose the use of other statistics for a better analysis of community structure, their relationship being: species evenness + species dominance = 1; species diversity × species uniformity = 1; and species diversity = species richness × species evenness.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
P. Kämpfer & R. Rosselló-Mora (2004). The Species Concept for Prokaryotic Microorganisms—an Obstacle for Describing Diversity? Poiesis and Praxis 3 (s 1-2):62-72.
János Podani (2006). With a Machete Through the Jungle: Some Thoughts on Community Diversity. Acta Biotheoretica 54 (2).
C. Ricotta & G. C. Avena (2002). On the Information-Theoretical Meaning of Hill's Parametric Evenness. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (1).
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Ingo Brigandt (2003). Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Ernst Mayr (1996). What is a Species, and What is Not? Philosophy of Science 63 (2):262-277.
Carlo Ricotta (2003). Additive Partition of Parametric Information and its Associated Β-Diversity Measure. Acta Biotheoretica 51 (2).
Carlo Ricotta (2003). Parametric Scaling From Species Relative Abundances to Absolute Abundances in the Computation of Biological Diversity: A First Proposal Using Shannon's Entropy. Acta Biotheoretica 51 (3).
C. Ricotta & G. C. Avena (2003). An Information-Theoretical Measure of Taxonomic Diversity. Acta Biotheoretica 51 (1).
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #58,746 of 549,084 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #63,317 of 549,084 )
How can I increase my downloads?