IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

A functional approach to diversity profiles

Listed author(s):
  • Stefano A. Gattone
  • Tonio Di Battista
Registered author(s):

    Diversity plays a central role in ecological theory and its conservation and management are important issues for the wellbeing and stability of ecosystems. The aim of this work is to provide a reliable theoretical framework for performing statistical analysis on ecological diversity by means of the joint use of diversity profiles and functional data analysis. We point out that ecological diversity is a multivariate concept as it is a function of the relative abundances of species in a biological community. For this, several researchers have suggested using parametric families of indices of diversity for obtaining more information from the data. Patil and Taillie introduced the concept of intrinsic diversity ordering which can be determined by using the diversity profile. It may be noted that the diversity profile is a non-negative and convex curve which consists of a sequence of measurements as a function of a given parameter. Thus, diversity profiles can be explained through a process that is described in a functional setting. Recent developments in environmental studies have focused on the opportunity to evaluate community diversity changes over space and/or correlation of diversity with environmental characteristics. For this, we develop an innovative analysis of diversity based on a functional data approach. Whereas conventional statistical methods process data as a sequence of individual observations, functional data analysis is designed to process a collection of functions or curves. Moreover, unconstrained models may lead to negative and/or non-convex estimates for the diversity profiles. To overcome this problem, a transformation is proposed which can be constrained to be non-negative and convex. We focus on some applications showing how functional data analysis provides an alternative way of understanding biological diversity and its interaction with natural and/or human factors. Copyright (c) 2009 Royal Statistical Society.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics).

    Volume (Year): 58 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 267-284

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssc:v:58:y:2009:i:2:p:267-284
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX, United Kingdom

    Phone: -44-171-638-8998
    Fax: -44-171-256-7598
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jorssc:v:58:y:2009:i:2:p:267-284. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.