DOI: 10.1101/003137Feb 28, 2014Paper

A novel inference of the fundamental biodiversity number for multiple immigration-limited communities

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Champak Beeravolu ReddyPierre Couteron


Neutral community theory postulates a fundamental quantity, θ, which reflects the species diversity on a regional scale. While the recent genealogical formulation of community dynamics has considerably enhanced quantitative neutral ecology, its inferential aspects have remained computationally prohibitive. Here, we make use of a generalized version of the original two-level hierarchical framework in order to define a novel estimator for θ ;, which proves to be computationally efficient and robust when tested on a wide range of simulated neutral communities. Estimating θ ; from field data is also illustrated using two tropical forest datasets consisting of spatially separated permanent field plots. Preliminary results also reveal that our inferred regional diversity parameter based on community dynamics may be linked to widely used ordination techniques in ecology. This paper essentially paves the way for future work dealing with the parameter inference of neutral communities with respect to their spatial scale and structure.

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