Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 181–188

Parametric Scaling from Species Relative Abundances to Absolute Abundances in the Computation of Biological Diversity: A First Proposal Using Shannon's Entropy

  • Carlo Ricotta

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025142106292

Cite this article as:
Ricotta, C. Acta Biotheor (2003) 51: 181. doi:10.1023/A:1025142106292


Traditional diversity measures such as the Shannon entropy are generally computed from the species' relative abundance vector of a given community to the exclusion of species' absolute abundances. In this paper, I first mention some examples where the total information content associated with a given community may be more adequate than Shannon's average information content for a better understanding of ecosystem functioning. Next, I propose a parametric measure of statistical information that contains both Shannon's entropy and total information content as special cases of this more general function.

information-theorymass ratio hypothesisparametric diversity

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Ricotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly