Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2003, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 412-426.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2003.0060

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances of the Study on Species Abundance Pattern

MA Ke-Ming   

  • Online:2003-03-10 Published:2003-03-10
  • Contact: MA Ke-Ming


The study on species abundance pattern started in 1930’s, which is the origination of population and community ecologies. The species abundance pattern analysis can be conducted at two levels. 1) At the beginning stage, it was focused on the community level, which seeked to provide a common global pattern among different communities. The often-used methods include geometric series, log-series, log-normal and broken stick models, and each model represents different ecological process. 2) Nowadays, it highlights the species level, which focused on regional distribution of species and its ecological mechanisms. There are three kinds of species distribution-abundance relationships, that is positive, negative and no correlation. Species tend to be widely spread in region with high local abundance whilst restrictedly distributed with low local abundance. The regional distribution of species abundance is unimodal by niche model prediction, and some “hot spots" are often emerged. It is bimodal by meta-population model prediction, which may be determined by the properties of environmental resources, species niches and dispersal processes. 3) The dynamics of species abundance pattern is similar to its spatial variation in that it represents the temporal heterogeneity of those underlying ecological processes. 4) The scale variation of species abundance pattern is often self-similar though it does not always exist, because biodiversity is normally determined by different processes at different scales, and they are not necessarily self-similar all the time. 5) Abundance (rarity) is the basis for species preservation, while species abundance models could provide indication to the variation of ecological or perturbation processes on community structure. The research of species abundance pattern is still insufficient in mechanism explanation,modeling techniques, and conservation applications, and the development of relevant researches would advance the understanding of distribution mechanisms and the effective preservation of biological diversity in the future.