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Applying Metric and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling to Ecological Studies: Some New Results

N. C. Kenkel and L. Orlóci
Ecology
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Aug., 1986), pp. 919-928
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1939814
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1939814
Page Count: 10
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Applying Metric and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling to Ecological Studies: Some New Results
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Abstract

Metric (eigenanalysis) and nonmetric multidimensional scaling strategies for ecological ordination were compared. The result, based on simulated coenoplane data showing varying degrees of species turnover on two independent environmental axes, suggested some strong differences between metric and nonmetric scaling methods in their ability to recover underlying nonlinear data structures. Prior data standardization had important effects on the results of both metric and nonmetric scaling, though the effect varied with the ordination method used. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling based on Euclidean distance following stand norm standardization proved to be the best strategy for recovering simulated coenoplane data. Of the metric strategies compared, correspondence analysis and the detrended form were the most successful. While detrending improved ordination configurations in some cases, in others it led to a distortion of results. It is suggested that none of the currently available ordination strategies is appropriate under all circumstances, and that future research in ordination methodology should emphasize a statistical rather than empirical approach.

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