Biodiversity Science ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 295-302.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.08318

• Special Issue • Previous Article     Next Article

The principle of maximum entropy and its applications in ecology

Dingliang Xing1, 2, Zhanqing Hao1*   

  1. 1Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016

    2Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2010-12-23 Revised:2011-03-09 Online:2013-12-10
  • Zhanqing Hao E-mail:hzq@iae.ac.cn

The principle of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) was originally studied in information theory and statistical mechanics, and was widely employed in a variety of contexts. MaxEnt provides a statistical inference of unknown distributions on the basis of partial knowledge without taking into any unknown information. Recently there has been growing interest in the use of MaxEnt in ecology. In this review, to provide an intuitive understanding of this principle, we firstly employ an example of dice throwing to demonstrate the underlying basis of MaxEnt, and list the steps one should take when applying this principle. Then we focus on its applications in some fields of ecology and biodiversity, including the predicting of species relative abundances using community aggregated traits (CATs), the MaxEnt niche model of biogeography based on environmental factors, the studying of macroecology patterns such as species abundance distribution (SAD) and species–area relationship (SAR), inferences of species interactions using species abundance matrix or merely occurrence (presence/ absence) data, and the predicting of food web degree distributions. We also highlight the main debates about these applications and some recent tests of these models' strengths and limitations. We conclude with the discussion of some matters of attention ecologists should keep in mind when using MaxEnt.

No related articles found!
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed   
[1] MOU Jing, BIN Zhen-Jun, LI Qiu-Xia, BU Hai-Yan, ZHANG Ren-Yi, XU Dang-Hui. Effects of nitrogen and silicon addition on soil nitrogen mineralization in alpine meadows of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau[J]. Chin J Plant Ecol, 2019, 43(1): 77 -84 .
[2] Chen Chia-Jui. Sphaerotylos C. J. Chen—A Remarkable New Genus of Urticaceae from China, with Notes on Stigmas of the Family[J]. J Syst Evol, 1985, 23(6): 444 -456 .
[3] Zhi-Duan Chen, Tuo Yang, Li Lin, Li-Min Lu, Hong-Lei Li, Miao Sun, Bing Liu, Min Chen, Yan-Ting Niu, Jian-Fei Ye, Zhi-Yong Cao, Hong-Mei Liu, Xiao-Ming Wang, Wei Wang, Jing-Bo Zhang, Zhen Meng, Wei Cao, Jian-Hui Li, Sheng-Dan Wu, Hui-Ling Zhao, Zhong-Jian Liu, Zhi-Yuan Du, Qing-Feng Wang, Jing Guo, Xin-Xin Tan, Jun-Xia Su, Lin-Jing Zhang, Lei-Lei Yang, Yi-Ying Liao, Ming-He Li, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Shih-Wen Chung, Jian Zhang, Kun-Li Xiang, Rui-Qi Li, Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Shi-Liang Zhou, Jin-Hua Ran, Xiao-Quan Wang, Xiao-Hua Jin, You-Sheng Chen, Tian-Gang Gao, Jian-Hua Li, Shou-Zhou Zhang, An-Ming Lu, China Phylogeny Consortium. Tree of life for the genera of Chinese vascular plants[J]. J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(4): 277 -306 .
[4] Yuanjie Xu,Dunmei Lin,Ming Shi,Yanjie Xie,Yizhi Wang,Zhenhua Guan,Jianying Xiang. Spatial heterogeneity and its causes in evergreen broad-leaved forests in the Ailao Mountains, Yunnan Province[J]. Biodiv Sci, 2017, 25(1): 23 -33 .
[5] Shusheng Zhang, Fangdong Zheng, Jiaqi Li, Qimin Bao, Jiahou Lai, Hongyi Cheng. Monitoring diversity of ground-dwelling birds and mammals in Wuyanling National Nature Reserve using infrared camera traps[J]. Biodiv Sci, 2017, 25(4): 427 -429 .
[6] Xiulei Wang, Diqiang Li, Bo Wu, Hongxiao Yang. Habitat suitability assessment of Przewalski’s gazelle in the Hudong- Ketu area, Qinghai, China[J]. Biodiv Sci, 2005, 13(3): 213 -220 .
[7] Xia Bing, Lan Tao, He Shan-an. Nonlinear Response Function of Growth of Pinus massomiana to Climate[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 1996, 20(1): 51 -56 .
[8] Yue Ming. Division of Successional Phase in The Platycladus orientalis Forest in the South Loess Plateau of the Northern shanxi Province[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 1998, 22(4): 327 -335 .
[9] Pengfei Jiang, Shiliang Wang, Aziz Ul Ikram, Zuntao Xu, Haiyang Jiang, Beijiu Cheng and Yong Ding. SDG721 and SDG705 are required for rice growth[J]. J Integr Plant Biol, 2018, 60(7): 530 -535 .
[10] Qiu Xi-zhao, Lin Peng. Characteristics of Horizontal Distribution of Fagaceae Species in Mid-Subtropical Evergreen Broadleaved Forests of Fujian Province[J]. Chin J Plan Ecolo, 1989, 13(1): 36 -41 .