↓ Skip to main content

A guide to phylogenetic metrics for conservation, community ecology and macroecology

Overview of attention for article published in Biological Reviews, January 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#30 of 825)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (85th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
103 tweeters
3 Facebook pages

Readers on

675 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
A guide to phylogenetic metrics for conservation, community ecology and macroecology
Published in
Biological Reviews, January 2016
DOI 10.1111/brv.12252
Pubmed ID

Tucker, Caroline M., Cadotte, Marc W., Carvalho, Silvia B., Davies, T. Jonathan, Ferrier, Simon, Fritz, Susanne A., Grenyer, Rich, Helmus, Matthew R., Jin, Lanna S., Mooers, Arne O., Pavoine, Sandrine, Purschke, Oliver, Redding, David W., Rosauer, Dan F., Winter, Marten, Mazel, Florent, Tucker, Caroline M, Cadotte, Marc W, Carvalho, Silvia B, Davies, T Jonathan, Fritz, Susanne A, Helmus, Matthew R, Jin, Lanna S, Mooers, Arne O, Redding, David W, Rosauer, Dan F, Caroline M. Tucker, Marc W. Cadotte, Silvia B. Carvalho, T. Jonathan Davies, Simon Ferrier, Susanne A. Fritz, Rich Grenyer, Matthew R. Helmus, Lanna S. Jin, Arne O. Mooers, Sandrine Pavoine, Oliver Purschke, David W. Redding, Dan F. Rosauer, Marten Winter, Florent Mazel, Tucker, CM, Cadotte, MW, Carvalho, SB, Davies, TJ, Ferrier, S, Fritz, SA, Grenyer, R, Helmus, MR, Jin, LS, Mooers, AO, Pavoine, S, Purschke, O, Redding, DW, Rosauer, DF, Winter, M, Mazel, F


The use of phylogenies in ecology is increasingly common and has broadened our understanding of biological diversity. Ecological sub-disciplines, particularly conservation, community ecology and macroecology, all recognize the value of evolutionary relationships but the resulting development of phylogenetic approaches has led to a proliferation of phylogenetic diversity metrics. The use of many metrics across the sub-disciplines hampers potential meta-analyses, syntheses, and generalizations of existing results. Further, there is no guide for selecting the appropriate metric for a given question, and different metrics are frequently used to address similar questions. To improve the choice, application, and interpretation of phylo-diversity metrics, we organize existing metrics by expanding on a unifying framework for phylogenetic information. Generally, questions about phylogenetic relationships within or between assemblages tend to ask three types of question: how much; how different; or how regular? We show that these questions reflect three dimensions of a phylogenetic tree: richness, divergence, and regularity. We classify 70 existing phylo-diversity metrics based on their mathematical form within these three dimensions and identify 'anchor' representatives: for α-diversity metrics these are PD (Faith's phylogenetic diversity), MPD (mean pairwise distance), and VPD (variation of pairwise distances). By analysing mathematical formulae and using simulations, we use this framework to identify metrics that mix dimensions, and we provide a guide to choosing and using the most appropriate metrics. We show that metric choice requires connecting the research question with the correct dimension of the framework and that there are logical approaches to selecting and interpreting metrics. The guide outlined herein will help researchers navigate the current jungle of indices.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 103 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 675 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 18 3%
United States 14 2%
Germany 5 <1%
Switzerland 5 <1%
Mexico 3 <1%
United Kingdom 3 <1%
France 2 <1%
Australia 2 <1%
Argentina 2 <1%
Other 15 2%
Unknown 606 90%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 198 29%
Researcher 119 18%
Student > Master 103 15%
Student > Bachelor 68 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 52 8%
Other 135 20%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 435 64%
Environmental Science 141 21%
Unspecified 52 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 23 3%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 8 1%
Other 16 2%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 68. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 May 2018.
All research outputs
of 10,470,316 outputs
Outputs from Biological Reviews
of 825 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 340,330 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Biological Reviews
of 21 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 10,470,316 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 825 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 13.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 340,330 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 21 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.