Richness‐dependence of phylogenetic diversity indices
Phylogenetic diversity indices are widely used to characterize the structure and diversity of ecological communities. Most indices are based on a metric that is expected to vary with species richness, so they are standardized to remove this richness‐dependence. With this standardization, values of 0 are consistent with random phylogenetic structure, while phylogenetic clustering is associated with either negative or positive values (depending on the index). One common interpretation of phylogenetic clustering is that it indicates some combination of environmental and biological filtering that restricts the species that can be present in a community. Increasingly, studies are comparing phylogenetic indices along environmental gradients to infer differences in the factors structuring communities. This comparison implicitly assumes that index values are comparable among communities with different numbers of species.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2018