The Credible Diversity Plot: A Graphic for the Comparison of Biodiversity

Christopher J. Mecklin
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Murray State University
Murray KY 42071

A wide variety of indices exist for the measurement of ecological diversity. Common choices include the Shannon index and the Simpson index. Unfortunately, the arbitrary selection of diversity index can lead to conflicting results. However, both Shannon’s and Simpson’s measures are special cases of Renyi entropy. Others have developed “diversity profiles”, which use Renyi entropy to graphically compare the diversity index collected from different locations or from the same location over time. We extend this work by using both the bootstrap and Bayesian methods to estimate Renyi entropy and hence construct a graphic that we refer to as “credible diversity profiles”. Several examples using our method will be shown.

Keywords: Statistical Ecology, Biodiversity, Entropy, Bayesian Estimation, Bootstrap

In: McRoberts, R. et al. (eds).  Proceedings of the joint meeting of The 6th International Symposium On Spatial Accuracy Assessment In Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and The 15th Annual Conference of The International Environmetrics Society, June 28 – July 1 2004, Portland, Maine, USA.

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