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Measuring biodiversity in the Anthropocene: a simple guide to helpful methods
- Moreno, Claudia E., Calderón-Patrón, Jaime M., Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor, Barragán, Felipe, Escobar, Federico, Gómez-Ortiz, Yuriana, Martín-Regalado, Natalia, Martínez-Falcón, Ana P., Martínez-Morales, Miguel Ángel, Mendoza, Eduardo, Ortega-Martínez, Ilse J., Pérez-Hernández, Cisteil X., Pineda, Eduardo, Pineda-López, Rubén, Rios-Díaz, C. Lucero, Rodríguez, Pilar, Rosas, Fernando, Schondube, Jorge E., Zuria, Iriana
- Biodiversity and conservation 2017 v.26 no.12 pp. 2993-2998
- Anthropocene epoch, analytical methods, environmental degradation, functional diversity, graphs, nestedness, phylogeny, species diversity
- Quantifying biodiversity patterns in the context of human-caused environmental degradation is a fundamental task to improve conservation strategies; yet, it can be difficult given the rapid increase of available analytical methods. To guide studies on the topic, in this brief essay we present four approaches, accompanied by empirical examples, that can be used to accurately assess the impact of human activities on different facets of biological diversity. Such approaches include: (1) measurement of alpha diversity by incorporating interpolation-extrapolation techniques, Hill numbers and rank-abundance graphs; (2) beta diversity and its components of turnover and richness differences due to nestedness; (3) functional diversity, and (4) phylogenetic diversity. We highlight that a critical assessment, understanding and appropriate application of these and other emerging concepts and methods to assess biodiversity is needed to support both theoretical and applied studies, especially in biological conservation.