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A tribute to Claude Shannon (1916–2001) and a plea for more rigorous use of species richness, species diversity and the ‘Shannon–Wiener’ Index

Authors


Ian F. Spellerberg, Isaac Centre for Nature conservation, Lincoln University, New Zealand, E-mail: Spelleri@lincoln.ac.nz

ABSTRACT

In the literature, the terms species richness and species diversity are sometimes used interchangeably. We suggest that at the very least, authors should define what they mean by either term. Of the many species diversity indices used in the literature, the Shannon Index is perhaps most commonly used. On some occasions it is called the Shannon–Wiener Index and on other occasions it is called the Shannon–Weaver Index. We suggest an explanation for this dual use of terms and in so doing we offer a tribute to the late Claude Shannon (who passed away on 24 February 2001).

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