On the information-theoretical meaning of hill's parametric evenness

Acta Biotheoretica 50 (1):63-71 (2002)
The degree to which abundances are divided equitably among community species or evenness is a basic property of any biological community. Several evenness indices have been proposed to summarize community structure. However, despite their potential applicability in ecological research, none seems to be generally preferred. In this paper we show that, unlike other evenness indices without any clear information-theoretical meaning, Hill's parametric diversity measure E ,0 has an immediate relation to Rényi's generalized information. Therefore, E ,0 might be adequate for summarizing community structure within the context of a general theoretical framework of diversity analysis based on information theory.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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DOI 10.1023/A:1014717428386
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