Community Diversity

  • Daniel Borcard
  • François Gillet
  • Pierre Legendre
Part of the Use R! book series (USE R)


In many people’s minds, the words “diversity” or “biodiversity” simply refer to the number of species in a given area, but actually there are far more dimensions to the concept of biodiversity. Species diversity itself can be defined and measured in a variety of ways. Other types of diversity exist at various levels of organization of the living world, ranging from genome to landscape. At the community level, functional diversity, i.e., the diversity of functional traits, has received much attention in recent years, as well as phylogenetic diversity. We will mostly focus here on species and communities and explore first various facets of taxonomic diversity. In this chapter you will get an overview of the concept of diversity in ecology; compute various measures of alpha species diversity; explore the concept of beta diversity; partition beta diversity into its local and species contributions; partition beta diversity into replacement, richness difference and nestedness; and get a brief introduction to the concept of functional diversity.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Borcard
    • 1
  • François Gillet
    • 2
  • Pierre Legendre
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de sciences biologiquesUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.UMR Chrono-environnementUniversité Bourgogne Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance

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