Statistics, Department of


Date of this Version



HortScience June 2005 vol. 40 no. 3, p. 501.


Copyright 2005 ASHS. Used by permission.


This book is about understanding and applying multivariate statistical methods useful for analyzing complex ecological problems. Researchers and students seeking to improve their ability to collect and analyze data from field observations and experiments, especially those interested in the response or variation of biotic communities to environmental conditions or experimental manipulation, will find this handbook helpful. The methods discussed are widely used in plant community ecology, as well as other areas in biology.

The book is tutorial in nature. The authors provide advice on how to best apply the multivariate statistical methods using the CANOCO for Windows, a licensed computer program available to readers of the book on a trial basis. The authors also use Statistica for Windows to describe how to implement some methods not available in CANOCO.

The primary focus of the book is on ordination methods although classification methods are mentioned by comparison. The book begins with a coherent introduction to simple ordination methods, followed by a lucid description of constrained ordination methods (RDA, CCA) and permutation tests for testing multivariate statistical hypotheses. Then, a discussion of similarity measures is followed by an overview of classification and regression methods. The book concludes with seven case studies of varying difficulty. These case studies are supported by data sets and project files available from the book Web site.