, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 129–140

Information theory methods for the study of spatial processes and succession

  • P. Juhász-Nagy
  • J. Podani

DOI: 10.1007/BF00129432

Cite this article as:
Juhász-Nagy, P. & Podani, J. Vegetatio (1983) 51: 129. doi:10.1007/BF00129432


The use of mathematical methods based on Shannon's entropy function is proposed for the evaluation of the consequences of sampling unit size and for the study of vegetation succession. The concept of diversity is extended to sets of phytosociological relevés under the term florula diversity. It is shown that Shannon's entropy as well as two other related characteristic functions can express the local behaviour and overall relationships of species. Characteristic areas are defined in terms of the maxima and minima of these functions. Several study areas yielded the data which are used in the examples. Some theoretical problems of the methods are discussed and a computer, written in FORTRAN, is described.


Characteristic areaEntropy functionFlorula diversityInformation theorySampling evaluationSpatial processSuccession

Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Juhász-Nagy
    • 1
  • J. Podani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Taxonomy and EcologyL. Eötvös UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Research Institute for BotanyVácrátótHungary