Comparison of different methods for diversity ordering

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Abstract. The measurement of diversity, one of the most important concepts in present‐day ecology, can be improved by methods of diversity ordering which have recently been developed. This ordering is achieved by a D(α) diversity index family. Indices of this family show varying sensitivities to the rare and abundant species as the scale parameter, α, changes. The aim of this paper is to review and assess 12 methods of diversity ordering and discuss their relationships in detail. Two of the methods are new to the ecological literature. The diversity ordering methods are compared as to their effectiveness in graphically displaying the differences of community structure and demonstrating the (non‐)comparability of communities. Small, medium and large data sets were used to evaluate the methods. A small artificial data set (five to seven species) and a large semi‐artificial data set (31 — 141 species) are used in this paper. The results suggest that Rényi's diversity index family and Logarithmic dominance ordering are the most useful methods for diversity ordering of communities of all sizes. Right‐tailsum diversity ordering performs well for small communities. 1995 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1995


  • Diversity family
  • Diversity profile
  • One‐parameter diversity
  • Rényi's diversity index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

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