On the operative use of community overlap in analyzing incidence data

Abstract

Although overlap of communities is a key issue in studies ranging from community ecology to biogeography, a clear definition of community overlap and related terms hinder the development of the field. The absence of a unified terminology is remarkable even when the overlap of a pair or multiple communities is characterized. As a remedy, I suggest a definition of community overlap and two measures of it (number of overlapping species and total overlap size). Although both measures quantify different aspects of community overlap, in studying pairs of communities they yield identical results. The present findings demonstrate the need for a unified terminology in research on community overlap as well as for pairwise and multiple measures for quantifying the phenomenon.

References

  1. Arita, H.T. 2015. Multisite and multispecies measures of overlap, co-occurrence, and co-diversity. Ecography doi: 10.1111/ ecog.01942

  2. Jaccard, P. 1912. The distribution of the flora in the alpine zone. New Phytol. 11: 37–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Jost, L., A. Chao and R.R. Chazdon. 2011. Compositional similarity and β (beta) diversity. In A.E. Magurran and B.J. McGill (eds), Biological Diversity. Frontiers in Measurement and Assessment. Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 66–84.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Koch, L.F. 1957. Index of biotic dispersity. Ecology 38, 145–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Koleff, P., K.J. Gaston and J.L. Lennon. 2003. Measuring beta diversity for presence-absence data. J. Animal Ecol. 72: 367–382.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Pielou, E.C. 1977. The latitudinal spans of seaweed species and their patterns of overlap. J. Biogeogr. 4: 299–311.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Simpson, G.G. 1943. Mammals and the nature of continents. Amer. J. Sci. 241: 1–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Sørensen, T.A. 1948. A method of establishing groups of equal amplitude in plant sociology based on similarity of species content, and its application to analyses of the vegetation on Danish commons. Kongelige Danske Viden- skabernes Selskabs Biologiske Skrifter 5: 1–34.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Veech J.A. 2014. The pairwise approach to analysing species cooccurrence. J. Biogeogr. 41: 1029–1035.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to D. Schmera.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Schmera, D. On the operative use of community overlap in analyzing incidence data. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 18, 117–119 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1556/168.2017.18.1.13

Download citation

Keywords

  • Co-occurrence
  • Overlapping species
  • Similarity
  • Total overlap size