Co-occurrence-based measure of species' habitat specialization

Robust, unbiased estimation in saturated communities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Large vegetation plot databases enable the estimation of niche width from species co-occurrence data. Different indices have been proposed for this purpose, but do not give unbiased (i.e. independent of species pool size) and robust estimates over a wide range of conditions. The aims of the paper are to: (1) demonstrate the limitations of different methods, and (2) propose a new algorithm that results in unbiased and robust estimates. Results: Whittaker's β-diversity, calculated from raw data, is an unbiased niche width measure only if the relationship between γ-diversity and local richness is linear. However, this requirement is satisfied only in specific conditions, if both γ-diversity and local richness are linear functions of the species pool size with zero intercept. I propose the use of Beals smoothing to estimate species pools. It has been proved through analysis of simulated data that Whittaker's β calculated from species pool data is an unbiased estimate of niche width. I have shown that the robustness of the estimate can be improved by excluding extremely species-rich plots. The relative role of methodological decisions during niche width estimation was explored through analysis of a large field data set (>8000 relevés). Conclusions: The proposed algorithm results in robust, unbiased estimation, even in saturated communities, thus it avoids the drawbacks of the co-occurrence-based niche width measures proposed earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Fingerprint

species pool
niche
niches
habitat
habitats
smoothing
vegetation
analysis
methodology

Keywords

  • β-diversity
  • Generalists
  • Niche width
  • Saturation
  • Simulation
  • Specialists
  • Species pool
  • Whittaker's β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

@article{999d54c4e2264b4ebc43abdd7918c2f4,
title = "Co-occurrence-based measure of species' habitat specialization: Robust, unbiased estimation in saturated communities",
abstract = "Aims: Large vegetation plot databases enable the estimation of niche width from species co-occurrence data. Different indices have been proposed for this purpose, but do not give unbiased (i.e. independent of species pool size) and robust estimates over a wide range of conditions. The aims of the paper are to: (1) demonstrate the limitations of different methods, and (2) propose a new algorithm that results in unbiased and robust estimates. Results: Whittaker's β-diversity, calculated from raw data, is an unbiased niche width measure only if the relationship between γ-diversity and local richness is linear. However, this requirement is satisfied only in specific conditions, if both γ-diversity and local richness are linear functions of the species pool size with zero intercept. I propose the use of Beals smoothing to estimate species pools. It has been proved through analysis of simulated data that Whittaker's β calculated from species pool data is an unbiased estimate of niche width. I have shown that the robustness of the estimate can be improved by excluding extremely species-rich plots. The relative role of methodological decisions during niche width estimation was explored through analysis of a large field data set (>8000 relev{\'e}s). Conclusions: The proposed algorithm results in robust, unbiased estimation, even in saturated communities, thus it avoids the drawbacks of the co-occurrence-based niche width measures proposed earlier.",
keywords = "β-diversity, Generalists, Niche width, Saturation, Simulation, Specialists, Species pool, Whittaker's β",
author = "Z. Botta-Duk{\'a}t",
year = "2012",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01347.x",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "201--207",
journal = "Journal of Vegetation Science",
issn = "1100-9233",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Co-occurrence-based measure of species' habitat specialization

T2 - Robust, unbiased estimation in saturated communities

AU - Botta-Dukát, Z.

PY - 2012/4

Y1 - 2012/4

N2 - Aims: Large vegetation plot databases enable the estimation of niche width from species co-occurrence data. Different indices have been proposed for this purpose, but do not give unbiased (i.e. independent of species pool size) and robust estimates over a wide range of conditions. The aims of the paper are to: (1) demonstrate the limitations of different methods, and (2) propose a new algorithm that results in unbiased and robust estimates. Results: Whittaker's β-diversity, calculated from raw data, is an unbiased niche width measure only if the relationship between γ-diversity and local richness is linear. However, this requirement is satisfied only in specific conditions, if both γ-diversity and local richness are linear functions of the species pool size with zero intercept. I propose the use of Beals smoothing to estimate species pools. It has been proved through analysis of simulated data that Whittaker's β calculated from species pool data is an unbiased estimate of niche width. I have shown that the robustness of the estimate can be improved by excluding extremely species-rich plots. The relative role of methodological decisions during niche width estimation was explored through analysis of a large field data set (>8000 relevés). Conclusions: The proposed algorithm results in robust, unbiased estimation, even in saturated communities, thus it avoids the drawbacks of the co-occurrence-based niche width measures proposed earlier.

AB - Aims: Large vegetation plot databases enable the estimation of niche width from species co-occurrence data. Different indices have been proposed for this purpose, but do not give unbiased (i.e. independent of species pool size) and robust estimates over a wide range of conditions. The aims of the paper are to: (1) demonstrate the limitations of different methods, and (2) propose a new algorithm that results in unbiased and robust estimates. Results: Whittaker's β-diversity, calculated from raw data, is an unbiased niche width measure only if the relationship between γ-diversity and local richness is linear. However, this requirement is satisfied only in specific conditions, if both γ-diversity and local richness are linear functions of the species pool size with zero intercept. I propose the use of Beals smoothing to estimate species pools. It has been proved through analysis of simulated data that Whittaker's β calculated from species pool data is an unbiased estimate of niche width. I have shown that the robustness of the estimate can be improved by excluding extremely species-rich plots. The relative role of methodological decisions during niche width estimation was explored through analysis of a large field data set (>8000 relevés). Conclusions: The proposed algorithm results in robust, unbiased estimation, even in saturated communities, thus it avoids the drawbacks of the co-occurrence-based niche width measures proposed earlier.

KW - β-diversity

KW - Generalists

KW - Niche width

KW - Saturation

KW - Simulation

KW - Specialists

KW - Species pool

KW - Whittaker's β

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84858324640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84858324640&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01347.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01347.x

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 201

EP - 207

JO - Journal of Vegetation Science

JF - Journal of Vegetation Science

SN - 1100-9233

IS - 2

ER -