Editor: José Alexandre Diniz-Filho
The n-dimensional hypervolume
Article first published online: 20 FEB 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 23, Issue 5, pages 595–609, May 2014
How to Cite
Blonder, B., Lamanna, C., Violle, C. and Enquist, B. J. (2014), The n-dimensional hypervolume. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23: 595–609. doi: 10.1111/geb.12146
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 20 FEB 2014
- University of Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative
- Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship
- 7th European Community Framework Program
- National Science Foundation Macrosystems award
- Environmental niche modelling;
- kernel density estimation;
- niche overlap;
- species distribution modelling
The Hutchinsonian hypervolume is the conceptual foundation for many lines of ecological and evolutionary inquiry, including functional morphology, comparative biology, community ecology and niche theory. However, extant methods to sample from hypervolumes or measure their geometry perform poorly on high-dimensional or holey datasets.
We first highlight the conceptual and computational issues that have prevented a more direct approach to measuring hypervolumes. Next, we present a new multivariate kernel density estimation method that resolves many of these problems in an arbitrary number of dimensions.
We show that our method (implemented as the ‘hypervolume’ R package) can match several extant methods for hypervolume geometry and species distribution modelling. Tools to quantify high-dimensional ecological hypervolumes will enable a wide range of fundamental descriptive, inferential and comparative questions to be addressed.