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      Navigating the multiple meanings of β diversity: a roadmap for the practicing ecologist : Roadmap for beta diversity

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          Abstract

          A recent increase in studies of β diversity has yielded a confusing array of concepts, measures and methods. Here, we provide a roadmap of the most widely used and ecologically relevant approaches for analysis through a series of mission statements. We distinguish two types of β diversity: directional turnover along a gradient vs. non-directional variation. Different measures emphasize different properties of ecological data. Such properties include the degree of emphasis on presence/absence vs. relative abundance information and the inclusion vs. exclusion of joint absences. Judicious use of multiple measures in concert can uncover the underlying nature of patterns in β diversity for a given dataset. A case study of Indonesian coral assemblages shows the utility of a multi-faceted approach. We advocate careful consideration of relevant questions, matched by appropriate analyses. The rigorous application of null models will also help to reveal potential processes driving observed patterns in β diversity. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecology Letters
                Wiley
                1461023X
                January 2011
                January 2011
                November 11 2010
                : 14
                : 1
                : 19-28
                Article
                10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01552.x
                21070562
                380359aa-efcd-4a4a-b8ae-04d1e7d738c2
                © 2010

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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