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Marine Benthic Diversity: A Comparative Study

Howard L. Sanders
The American Naturalist
Vol. 102, No. 925 (May - Jun., 1968), pp. 243-282
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459027
Page Count: 40
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Marine Benthic Diversity: A Comparative Study
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Abstract

In this paper a methodology is presented for measuring diversity based on rarefaction of actual samples. By the use of this technique, a within-habitat analysis was made of the bivalve and polychaete components of soft-bottom marine faunas which differed in latitude, depth, temperature, and salinity. The resulting diversity values were highly correlated with the physical stability and past history of these environments. A stability-time hypothesis was invoked to fit these findings, and, with this hypothesis, predictions were made about the diversities present in certain other environments as yet unstudied. The two types of diversity, based on numerical percentage composition and on number of species, were compared and shown to be poorly correlated with each other. Our data indicated that species number is the more valid diversity measurement. The rarefaction methodology was compared with a number of diversity indexes using identical data. Many of these indexes were markedly influenced by sample size. Good agreement was found between the rarefaction methodology and the Shannon-Wiener information function.

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