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Diversity 2013, 5(3), 613-626; doi:10.3390/d5030613
Article

A Proposed Revision of Diversity Measures

1
 and
2,*
1 V & C Semeniuk Research Group, 21 Glenmere Rd., Warwick, WA 6024, Australia 2 CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 13 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeography and Biodiversity Conservation)
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Abstract

The current measures of diversity for vegetation, namely alpha, beta, and gamma diversity are not logically consistent, which reduces their effectiveness as a framework for comparative vegetation analysis. The current terms mix concepts: specifically, while alpha diversity measures floristic diversity at a site, and gamma diversity measures floristic diversity regionally, beta diversity is a measure of diversity between two sites and measures a different phenomenon. We seek to rationalise measures of diversity providing a scalar set of measures. Our approach recognises vegetation diversity extends beyond species diversity and should include the various ways plants express themselves phenotypically. We propose four types of diversity, with a new set of prefixes: Type 1 diversity = the largest scale−the regional species pool; Type 2 diversity = the large habitat scale−where species in a habitat have been selected from the regional species pool; Type 3 diversity = intra-habitat expression of floristics, structure, and physiognomy; and Type 4 diversity = the finest scale of expression of vegetation diversity reflecting site selection of floristics, physiography, and phenotypic expression and reproductive strategy. This proposed framework adds significant new power to measures of diversity by extending the existing components to cover floristics, structure, physiognomy, and other forms of phenotypic expression.
Keywords: alpha diversity; beta diversity; gamma diversity; floristics alpha diversity; beta diversity; gamma diversity; floristics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Semeniuk, V.; Cresswell, I.D. A Proposed Revision of Diversity Measures. Diversity 2013, 5, 613-626.

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