David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 52 (2) (2004)
The degree to which abundances are evenly divided among the species of a given community is a basic property of any biological community. Several evenness indices have thus far been proposed in ecological literature. However, despite their vast potential applicability in ecological research, none seems to be generally preferred. In this paper, I first summarize the basic requirements that evenness measures should meet to adequately behave in ecological studies. Then, I discuss the major drawbacks of these requirements and propose an alternative family of measures that are based on the notion of specificity used in fuzzy set theory for measuring the uncertainty associated with a fuzzy set.
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