Species evenness

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Species evenness refers to how close in numbers each species in an environment are. Mathematically it is defined as a diversity index, a measure of biodiversity which quantifies how equal the community is numerically. So if there are 40 foxes, and 1000 dogs, the community is not very even. But if there are 40 foxes and 42 dogs, the community is quite even. The evenness of a community can be represented by Pielou's evenness index:

J'={ H^\prime \over H_\max^\prime }

Where H^\prime is the number derived from the Shannon diversity index and H_\max^\prime is the maximum value of H^\prime, equal to:

H^\prime_\max = - \sum_{i=1}^S {1\over S} \ln {1\over S} = \ln S.

J' is constrained between 0 and 1. The less variation in communities between the species, the higher J' is. Other indices have been proposed by authors where H_\min^\prime > 0 e.g. Hurlburt's evenness index.

S is the total number of species.

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