Technical Comments

Comment on "Neutral Ecological Theory Reveals Isolation and Rapid Speciation in a Biodiversity Hot Spot"

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Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 610
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121914


Latimer et al. (Reports, 9 September 2005, p. 1722) used an approximate likelihood function to estimate parameters of Hubbell's neutral model of biodiversity. Reanalysis with the exact likelihood not only yields different estimates but also shows that two similar likelihood maxima for very different parameter combinations can occur. This reveals a limitation of using species abundance data to gain insight into speciation and dispersal.

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