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Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2012, 1(2): 25-29
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Article

To be fractal or not to be fractal? Misuse of the species-area relationship

Alessandro Ferrarini
Department of Evolutionary and Functional Biology, University of Parma, Via G. Saragat 4, I-43100 Parma, Italy

Received 1 May 2012;Accepted 9 May 2012;Published online 5 June 2012
IAEES

Abstract
Species-area relationship (SAR) is a tenet in ecology. Unfortunately, even in very recent works researchers take for granted what they shouldn't take for granted, that is to say the fractality of such relationship. This is a serious mistake, both from a theoretical and methodological viewpoint. Unvealing non-fractality or multifractality of species-area relationship could mean a lot for conservation purposes of rare and not rare species. Detection of discontinuities in SAR may indicate significant changes in the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity, in particular with regard to different degrees of density-dependent events or interspecific interactions. Methodological tools are already at hand, so I invite scientists to employ them as soon as possible.

Keywords fractality;multi-fractality;non-fractality;piecewise regression;species-area relationship.



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