Computational Ecology and Software, 2013, 3(2): 26-32
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MBI: an R package for calculating multiple-site beta diversity indices

YouHua Chen
Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Received 14 March 2013;Accepted 16 April 2013;Published online 1 June 2013

Beta diversity is one of most important features in community ecology. Indices for pairwise comparison of beta diversity have been extensively developed, but the ones specifically designed for multiple-site comparison of beta diversity are still limited. Currently, by compiling all the available metrics based on the previous literature, plus some new metrics developed in the present report, we made the calculation of these multiplesite beta-diversity statistics become ready for ecologists using R computing environment. An empirical study was present using 290 real-world presence/absence matrices. The results showed that (1) mean pairwise indices could be good surrogates for multiple-site indices in principle, except the mean pairwise richness different index; (2) most of the indices were highly correlated, as indicated by Pearson correlation and significance test. The new R package "MBI" for calculating multiple-site diversity indices could be downloaded from the http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/MBI/.

Keywords beta diversity;multiple-site comparison;community ecology;nestedness;turnover;richness.

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