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A parametric diversity measure combining the relative abundances and taxonomic distinctiveness of species


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Most ecological diversity indices summarize the information about the relative abundances of species without reflecting taxonomic differences between species. Nevertheless, in environmental conservation practice, data on species abundances are mostly irrelevant and generally unknown. In such cases, to summarize the conservation value of a given site, so-called ‘taxonomic diversity’ measures can be used. Such measures are based on taxonomic relations among species and ignore species relative abundances. In this paper, bridging the gap between traditional biodiversity measures and taxonomic diversity measures, I introduce a parametric diversity index that combines species relative abundances with their taxonomic distinctiveness. Due to the parametric nature of the proposed index, the contribution of rare and abundant species to each diversity measure is explicit.