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Questionable Multivariate Statistical Inference in Wildlife Habitat and Community Studies

Eric A. Rexstad, Dirk D. Miller, Curtis H. Flather, Eric M. Anderson, Jerry W. Hupp and David R. Anderson
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 52, No. 4 (Oct., 1988), pp. 794-798
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3800948
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3800948
Page Count: 5
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Questionable Multivariate Statistical Inference in Wildlife Habitat and Community Studies
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Abstract

We analyzed a data set constructed from functionally unrelated, easily collected observations (e.g., meat, stock, and liquor prices) around Fort Collins, Colorado, using principal components analysis (PCA), canonical correlation analysis (CC), and discriminant function analysis (DFA). Each produced seemingly significant results and suggested strong relationships between the variables measured. We suggest that multivariate techniques can provide invalid inferences when used with data containing no relationships. We question the use of these techniques in studies of wildlife habitat.

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