Core and occasional species: A new way forward

Helden, Alvin J. (2021) Core and occasional species: A new way forward. Ecology and Evolution, 11 (15). pp. 10547-10565. ISSN 2045-7758

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Various methods have been used to divide communities into core species and occasional or satellite species. Some methods are somewhat arbitrary, and there is evidence that many communities are more multimodal than bimodal. They also tend to rely on having multiple years of data. A completely novel method is presented that not only has no requirement for long-term datasets but can divide communities into multiple groups. It is based on probability a species is present, calculated using Simpson's index and the sequential removal of species from the data. The sequential Simpson's index method was applied to species data from a grassland insect community. It was also applied to eleven other datasets that had been divided into core and occasional species in previously published studies. The new method was found not only to be consistent with previous core–occasional assessments but also able to identify multimodality in species abundance distributions. Although ideally used with a measure of persistence (frequency of occurrence) to rank species, community structure is consistently described even with only species abundance data. The method can be applied to short or long-term datasets and can help identify multimodality and provide valuable insight into how communities change in time or space.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: community structure, core and occasional species, grassland insects, multimodality, Simpson's index
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 14:33
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 10:25

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