May 19 2010

12:00 LSB 2320

John Harte
Energy & Resources Group and Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, UC Berkeley

Maximum entropy predicts realistic patterns in the distribution and abundance of species


Constrained maximization of information entropy yields least biased probability distributions. In statistical physics, this powerful inference method yields classical thermodynamics under the constraints of energy and particle number conservation. Here we apply this method to ecology, starting with logically necessary constraints formed from ratios of three state variables, and derive realistic abundance distributions, species-area relationships, and energy distributions across species and individuals. The theory provides a means of extrapolating small-plot data on species richness to biome scale, predicting the degree of rarity in a community from species accumulation data, and identifying the conditions under which the energy equivalence principle should hold.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































this is idtest: