Economics at your fingertips  

Biodiversity measures based on species-level dissimilarities: A methodology for assessment

Nicolas Gerber

Ecological Economics, 2011, vol. 70, issue 12, 2275-2281

Abstract: Biodiversity is widely recognized as a valuable natural asset to conserve. Yet biodiversity is often reported to be declining worldwide. Biodiversity measures can help evaluating it and conserving it, but need to be clearly defined and assessed. In this paper, I review several biodiversity measures and develop a new one, all based on a matrix of species-level dissimilarity data. The data can be used in its raw form, regardless of its origin (e.g. studies of morphological traits, DNA hybridization experiments…) or of any graphical representation. Then, I propose a two-step assessment of the measures. First, I assess them in terms of their deviation from a strict additive law determining the contribution of each species to the diversity of the set in an ideal setting. This setting refers to a case where the data exactly determines the hierarchical ordering of the species. Second, I assess the measures based on their compliance with a list of axioms. These axioms reflect basic mathematical properties regarded as desirable for diversity measures, such as their monotonicity in species and dissimilarities. Finally, I show the importance of applying the new quantitative assessment and the axiomatic approach together when selecting a dissimilarity-based diversity measure.

Keywords: Biodiversity measures; Species level; Dissimilarity data; Quantitative assessment; Axiomatic evaluation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.013

Access Statistics for this article

Ecological Economics is currently edited by C. J. Cleveland

More articles in Ecological Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nithya Sathishkumar ().

Page updated 2021-04-04
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2275-2281