Attenuation of species abundance distributions by sampling

Hideyasu Shimadzu, Ross Darnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Quantifying biodiversity aspects such as species presence/ absence, richness and abundance is an important challenge to answer scientific and resource management questions. In practice, biodiversity can only be assessed from biological material taken by surveys, a difficult task given limited time and resources. A type of random sampling, or often called sub-sampling, is a commonly used technique to reduce the amount of time and effort for investigating large quantities of biological samples. However, it is not immediately clear how (sub-)sampling affects the estimate of biodiversity aspects from a quantitative perspective. This paper specifies the effect of (sub-)sampling as attenuation of the species abundance distribution (SAD), and articulates how the sampling bias is induced to the SAD by random sampling. The framework presented also reveals some confusion in previous theoretical studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number140219
Number of pages12
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2015


  • Biodiversity estimation
  • Marine surveys
  • Rarefactions
  • Species presence/absence
  • Richness
  • Sampling


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