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Species-Area Curves: The Need to Include Zeroes

M. R. Williams
Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters
Vol. 5, No. 2 (Mar., 1996), pp. 91-93
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2997446
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2997446
Page Count: 3
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Species-Area Curves: The Need to Include Zeroes
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Abstract

The species-area curve relates the number of species (S) present within a sample to the area (A) of the sample, usually by the power function S = CAz. Values of S may include zero, since this is within the normal range of variation of S. It seems likely that because logarithmic transformation is frequently used to estimate the species-area relationship, samples with S = 0 have often been excluded from analysis because log(0) is undefined. Such censorship of the data can be expected to bias both C and z. In this paper I show that in calculating the parameters of the species-area relation, some authors have erred by excluding islands for which S = 0. I also draw attention to an alternative model of the species-area relation that is suitable for data containing samples with S = 0.

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