Ecology and Evolution 2012; 2(5): 988–993
Comparison of two views of maximum entropy in biodiversity: Frank (2011) and Pueyo et al. (2007)
Article first published online: 12 APR 2012
© 2011 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 5, pages 988–993, May 2012
How to Cite
Pueyo, S. (2012), Comparison of two views of maximum entropy in biodiversity: Frank (2011) and Pueyo et al. (2007). Ecology and Evolution, 2: 988–993. doi: 10.1002/ece3.231
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 12 APR 2012
- Received: 22 November 2011; Revised: 09 January 2012; Accepted: 18 January 2012
- Bayesian statistics;
- idiosyncratic theory;
- invariant groups;
- maximum entropy;
- noninformative prior distribution;
- scale invariance;
- species abundance distribution
An increasing number of authors agree in that the maximum entropy principle (MaxEnt) is essential for the understanding of macroecological patterns. However, there are subtle but crucial differences among the approaches by several of these authors. This poses a major obstacle for anyone interested in applying the methodology of MaxEnt in this context. In a recent publication, Frank (2011) gives some arguments why his own approach would represent an improvement as compared to the earlier paper by Pueyo et al. (2007) and also to the views by Edwin T. Jaynes, who first formulated MaxEnt in the context of statistical physics. Here I show that his criticisms are flawed and that there are fundamental reasons to prefer the original approach.