Statistical analysis of spatial pattern in plant communities

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A direct way of spatial series analysis is presented to analyze spatial pattern of multispecies communities. A test of randomness is proposed based on the average number of species per plots and its variance in a series of increasing plot sizes. Complete spatial randomness is used as a neutral or null hypothesis model. The usefulness of the method is demonstrated in a study of the regeneration pattern in a Hungarian beech forest (Melico-Fagetum silvaticae) after clear-cutting. This suggests four characteristic plot sizes for describing the vegetation. The maximum area, that is the plot size at which vegetation heterogeneity is maximal, is 1.3 m by 1.3 m. The comparative area, where variation is reduced, is 2 m by 2 m. The discriminatory area, where the average number of species for the actual and the random community is significantly different, is 4 m by 4 m. The spurious area, which is an upper limit of the relevant plot sizes for the studied community, is 8.5 m by 8.5 m. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

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