An information-theoretical measure of taxonomic diversity

Acta Biotheoretica 51 (1) (2003)
Abstract
Traditional diversity indices are computed from the abundances of species present and are insensitive to taxonomic differences between species. However, a community in which most species belong to the same genus is intuitively less diverse than another community with a similar number of species distributed more evenly between genera. In this paper, we propose an information-theoretical measure of taxonomic diversity that reflects both the abundances and taxonomic distinctness of the species. Unlike previous measures of taxonomic diversity, such as Rao's quadratic entropy, in this new measure the analyzed taxonomic properties are associated with the single species instead of species pairs.
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