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An Application of Canonical Analysis as a Method for Comparing Faunal Areas

Martin A. Buzas
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 36, No. 3 (Oct., 1967), pp. 563-577
DOI: 10.2307/2813
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2813
Page Count: 15
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An Application of Canonical Analysis as a Method for Comparing Faunal Areas
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Abstract

The problem of comparing two or more areas with respect to the abandances of the species contained therein is investigated by means of a multivariate statistical method called canonical variate analysis. The method compares faunal areas by emphasizing the differences between the means of the species abundances. The data, taken from Phleger (1956), consist of the abundances of foraminiferal species for the living and total populations off the central Texas coast. Consideration of geography, distribution of traverses, and Phleger's suggested faunal boundaries divides the area for purposes of comparison into three bay subareas and five open-ocean subareas (three in the 0-30 m, one in the 30-60 m, and one in the 60-110 m depth zone). Six canonical analyses were made: living population-bays; total population-bays; living population-open ocean; total population-open ocean; living population bays-open ocean; and total population bays-open ocean. Comparison along canonical axes of the means of the abundances of eleven species from the bays showed significant differences between the living populations but no differences for the total population. Comparison along canonical axes of the means of abundances of forty-four species from the open ocean showed that the living populations of two of the 0-30 m subareas are similar, whereas the northeastermost 0-30 m subarea and subareas 30-60 m and 60-110 m are each distinct. In the total population-open ocean, all three 0-30 m subareas are similar, while the subareas 30-60 m and 60-110 m are distinct. The analyses of the living population-bays-open ocean and total population-bays-open ocean are in substantial agreement with the separate analyses. The results indicate that canonical variate analysis has great utility for helping the researcher decide which areas are similar or different with respect to their species abundances, and therefore may be of use in defining biofacies.

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