Ecological Research

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 101–111 | Cite as

Heterogeneity ratio: a measure of beta-diversity and its use in community classification

  • Shiro Kobayashi


Fifteen previously proposed similarity indices are examined for the effects of sample size and/or group size (the number of samples included in a cluster). The three indices ofCλ,NESS, andC′λ are free from effects, but the former two are unsuitable for arithmetic averaging unless all of the sample sizes are equal. Thus clustering usingC′λ is found to be superior to the combination of any other similarity index and the group-average strategy. Unfortunately none of these measures have the desirable property of measuring the difference in component species among samples independent of the alpha-diversity. A new index of similarity (HR) is developed based on the assumption that community from which samples are taken is described by a logseries distribution. This new index measures the beta-diversity among samples without the influence of sample size and group size, and has the advantage that the significance of fusing samples can statistically be tested. An example clustering withHR is shown and compared with those obtained by other clustering strategies.

Key words

Beta-diversity Clustering Community classification Dendrogram Similarity 


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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiro Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureYamagata UniversityTsuruokaJapan

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