Revista mexicana de biodiversidad
versión On-line ISSN 2007-8706
MORENO, Claudia E.; BARRAGAN, Felipe; PINEDA, Eduardo y PAVON, Numa P.. Reanalyzing alpha diversity: alternatives to understand and compare information about ecological communities. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2011, vol.82, n.4, pp. 1249-1261. ISSN 2007-8706.
The Shannon index of entropy and related measures of compositional complexity are often used to assess species diversity in ecological communities, even when they are difficult to understand and their values are not comparable. This paper shows that the effective numbers of species (true diversity measures) allows for a more intuitive interpretation, and offers easily comparable values of species diversity. Their use is exemplified by reanalyzing the data from 4 studies published in the Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad (done in different ecosystems and regions of Mexico, with different levels of taxonomic resolution and different biological groups). Diversity estimation models are also used; these assume that samples are incomplete representations of communities. This paper also offers an explanation of how diversity measures of different orders incorporate species depending on their abundance in the community. This may be especially useful when the diversity values are used to support proposals for resource management and biological conservation.
Palabras llave : true diversity; species equivalents; equally common species; Shannon index; richness; evenness; dominance; abundance.