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Canonical Correspondence Analysis: A New Eigenvector Technique for Multivariate Direct Gradient Analysis

Cajo J. F. Ter Braak
Vol. 67, No. 5 (Oct., 1986), pp. 1167-1179
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1938672
Stable URL:
Page Count: 13
Subjects: Biological Sciences Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
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A new multivariate analysis technique, developed to relate community composition to known variation in the environment, is described. The technique is an extension of correspondence analysis (reciprocal averaging), a popular ordination technique that extracts continuous axes of variation from species occurrence or abundance data. Such ordination axes are typically interpreted with the help of external knowledge and data on environmental variables; this two-step approach (ordination followed by environmental gradient identification) is termed indirect gradient analysis. In the new technique, called canonical correspondence analysis, ordination axes are chosen in the light of known environmental variables by imposing the extra restriction that the axes be linear combinations of environmental variables. In this way community variation can be directly related to environmental variation. The environmental variables may be quantitative or nominal. As many axes can be extracted as there are environmental variables. The method of detrending can be incorporated in the technique to remove arch effects. (Detrended) canonical correspondence analysis is an efficient ordination technique when species have bell-shaped response curves or surfaces with respect to environmental gradients, and is therefore more appropriate for analyzing data on community composition and environmental variables than canonical correlation analysis. The new technique leads to an ordination diagram in which points represent species and sites, and vectors represent environmental variables. Such a diagram shows the patterns of variation in community composition that can be explained best by the environmental variables and also visualizes approximately the @'centers@' of the species distributions along each of the environmental variables. Such diagrams effectively summarized relationships between community and environment for data sets on hunting spiders, dyke vegetation, and algae along a pollution gradient.

Notes and References

This item contains 30 references.

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