The local-regional species richness relationship: new perspectives on the null-hypothesis

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Abstract

Despite considerable criticism in recent years, the use of local (SL) and regional species richness (SR) plots has a long tradition to test for community saturation. The traditional approach has been to compare linear and polynomial regression models of untransformed measures of SL and SR with a statistically significant linear or polynomial model indicating unsaturated and saturated communities, respectively. This approach has been the target of much controversy owing to statistical issues, the confounding effects of the arbitrary choice for the size of the local and regional area, and the difficulty in attributing ecological processes to the underlying SL SR pattern. The statistical issues and effects of scale stem from the lack of statistical independence and induced correlation between SL SR arising from the mathematical constraint, SL

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