15th Australian Statistical Conference: Goodness-of-fit methods for species abundance distributions

Robert A. R. King and Phillip Cassey

Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia


A variety of different models have been proposed for the distribution of biomass or abundance across different species in a particular environment. We will briefly review the historical development of goodness-of-fit tests to distinguish among a general class of stochastic resource apportionment models using replicated species abundance data.

We present results from corrections to the existing goodness-of-fit methods, and illustrate the use of a new method with data from a variety of ecological surveys. The goodness-of-fit test we present is equally applicable to models of species abundance and biomass as it is to any comparison of a replicated observed distribution and a theoretical stochastic model.

The examples we present show that our new method provides a good level of discrimination between models that match the data and those that do not.

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