In view of its limited application to date, too much should not be claimed for this methodology. However, it is surprising that anything sensible can be said about diversity at all for data consisting simply of species lists, and arising from unknown or uncontrolled sampling effort, which usually renders it impossible to read anything into the relative size of these lists. AvTD and VarTD in particular have been used to study relatively large-scale patterns of biodiversity in various groups of organisms, to assess the effects of various anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, to evaluate the representativeness of surrogates for biodiversity estimation and (by comparison of recent and fossil death assemblages) to make predictions about the effects of climate change.
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