Many methods of measuring niche overlap have been proposed, such as those of Renkonen, Morisita, and Horn. In this paper, conditions are put forward which overlap indices should reasonably be expected to satisfy. A general description of a good index is given, which covers as special cases those of the well-known indices which satisfy all the conditions. A mixture of the Renkonen and van Belle & Ahmad indices is suggested, as it has many desirable properties. The problem of estimating overlap from data is discussed briefly.

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