Beta diversity analysis


Introduction: The concept of beta diversity is useful to quantify the amount of spatial variation in community composition. Studying beta diversity is unfortunately hampered by the fact that ecologists usually have different opinions on how this diversity component should be defined and measured. Integrated frameworks of beta diversity assessment and analysis should allow ecologists to assess the individual contribution of specific entities (e.g. taxa, sampled communities, community types or the processes generating variation) to the overall beta diversity value. An important question related to the quantification of beta diversity involves choosing an index to define the ecological resemblance between pairs of communities, for which many alternatives are available.

Aims: Our aim is to conduct conceptual and comparative studies to recommend specific resemblance indices for beta diversity assessments on the basis of their mathematical and ecological properties.


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  • De Cáceres M, Legendre P, He F (2013). Dissimilarity measurements and the size structure of ecological communities. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4(12): 1167-1177 (
  • De Cáceres M, Legendre P, Valencia R, Cao M, Chang LW, Chuyong G, Condit R, Hao Z, Hsieh CF, Hubbell S, Kenfack D, Ma K, Mi X, Supardi Noor N, Kassim AR, Ren H, Su SH, Sun IF, Thomas D, Ye W, He F (2012) The variation of tree beta diversity across a global network of forest plots. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21(12): 1191-1202 (
  • Legendre, P., De Cáceres, M., Borcard, D. (2010) Community surveys through space and time: testing space-time interaction in the absence of replication. Ecology 91(1): 262-272. (

Other outcomes: