J Plant Ecol ›› 2015, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (1): 12-16.DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtu008

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A cautionary note on some phylogenetic dissimilarity measures

Carlo Ricotta1,*, Giovanni Bacaro2,3 and Sandrine Pavoine4,5   

  1. 1 Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza', Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy; 2 CNR-IRPI, Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Via Madonna Alta 126, 06128 Perugia, Italy; 3 Department of Life Science, BIOCONNET, Biodiversity and Conservation Network, University of Siena, Via P. A. Mattioli 4, 53100 Siena, Italy; 4 Département Ecologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, UMR 7204 CNRS UPMC, 55–61 Rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France; 5 Department of Zoology, Mathematical Ecology Research Group, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
  • Received:2014-03-03 Accepted:2014-06-07 Published:2015-01-22
  • Contact: Ricotta, Carlo

Abstract: Aims Measures of plot-to-plot phylogenetic dissimilarity and beta diversity are providing a powerful tool for understanding the complex ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that drive community assembly.
Methods Here, we review the properties of some previously published dissimilarity measures that are based on minimum or average phylogenetic dissimilarity between species in different plots.
Important findings We first show that some of these measures violate the basic condition that for two identical plots the measures take the value zero. They also violate the condition that the dissimilarity between two identical plots should always be lower than that between two different plots. Such erratic behavior renders these measures unsuitable for measuring plot-to-plot phylogenetic dissimilarity. We next propose a new measure that satisfies these conditions, thus providing a more reasonable way for measuring phylogenetic dissimilarity.

Key words: abundance-weighted dissimilarity measures, index symmetry, patristic distances, presence/absence dissimilarity measures, nearest-neighbor metrics

摘要:
Aims Measures of plot-to-plot phylogenetic dissimilarity and beta diversity are providing a powerful tool for understanding the complex ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that drive community assembly.
Methods Here, we review the properties of some previously published dissimilarity measures that are based on minimum or average phylogenetic dissimilarity between species in different plots.
Important findings We first show that some of these measures violate the basic condition that for two identical plots the measures take the value zero. They also violate the condition that the dissimilarity between two identical plots should always be lower than that between two different plots. Such erratic behavior renders these measures unsuitable for measuring plot-to-plot phylogenetic dissimilarity. We next propose a new measure that satisfies these conditions, thus providing a more reasonable way for measuring phylogenetic dissimilarity.