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A method for analysing spatial scales of variation in composition of assemblages

A method for analysing spatial scales of variation in composition of assemblages In several areas of research on ecological assemblages, it is useful to be able to analyse patterns of spatial variation at various scales. Multivariate analyses of dissimilarity or similarity in assemblages of species are limited by problems of non-independence caused by repeated use of the sample-units. Where rank-order procedures are used, no comparative quantitative measurements of dissimilarity at different scales are produced. An alternative method is described that uses the sample's average assemblage (or centroid). These estimates are themselves averaged to give centroids for larger spatial scales. Dissimilarities from the centroids at each scale are then calculated using independent replicates for each scale from those in each sample. The dissimilarity measures can then be examined by analysis of variance to detect spatial scales of differences for each sample at every level of a hierarchy of scales. The method is illustrated using data from mangrove forests and rocky shores, involving up to 97 taxonomic groups (species, other taxa). Differences among assemblages at the scales of sites (tens of meters apart) or locations at shores (hundreds of meters apart) were identified. Consequences of different numbers of replicates are discussed, with some potential problems (and their solutions) in application. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

A method for analysing spatial scales of variation in composition of assemblages

Oecologia , Volume 117 (4) – Dec 1, 1998

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References (35)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/s004420050694
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In several areas of research on ecological assemblages, it is useful to be able to analyse patterns of spatial variation at various scales. Multivariate analyses of dissimilarity or similarity in assemblages of species are limited by problems of non-independence caused by repeated use of the sample-units. Where rank-order procedures are used, no comparative quantitative measurements of dissimilarity at different scales are produced. An alternative method is described that uses the sample's average assemblage (or centroid). These estimates are themselves averaged to give centroids for larger spatial scales. Dissimilarities from the centroids at each scale are then calculated using independent replicates for each scale from those in each sample. The dissimilarity measures can then be examined by analysis of variance to detect spatial scales of differences for each sample at every level of a hierarchy of scales. The method is illustrated using data from mangrove forests and rocky shores, involving up to 97 taxonomic groups (species, other taxa). Differences among assemblages at the scales of sites (tens of meters apart) or locations at shores (hundreds of meters apart) were identified. Consequences of different numbers of replicates are discussed, with some potential problems (and their solutions) in application.

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 1998

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