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Citation. Palmer, M. W. 1987. Variability in species richness within Minnesota oldfields: a use of the variance test. Vegetatio 70:61-64. [1110 LTER]
Abstract. The variance test, originally proposed for testing species associations, is used to test whether species richness is more or less variable than expected under the null model of no species interactions. Species richness is more variable than expected in some fields, and less variable than expected in other fields at the Cedar Creek Natural History Area in Minnesota. High variance in species richness may be caused by variability in competitive exclusion rates or small-scale environmental heterogeneity. Low variance in species richness may occur if the community is saturated with species, or if species-rich areas have high local competitive exclusion rates. Results of the variance test depend somewhat on quadrat size, and can be used to select study sites and quadrat sizes for further research on the nature of variation in species richness.
Keywords. Diversity, Old field, Species richness, Variance test