• abundance distribution;
  • community structure;
  • diversity;
  • dominance;
  • Simpson’s index

We suggest a concept that allows the objective determination of the number of co-dominants in a community. We define co-dominants as a subset of species that are more abundant and more uniformly distributed than other species in a given sample. We compare the sample with a model community and use Simpson’s diversity index to estimate the apparent number of co-dominants. Dominant species determined in this way are responsible for 70–90% of the total measure of abundance in the sample. The statistical significance of the apparent number of co-dominants may be assessed by a randomization test.