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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 253:17-24 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps253017

Information-theoretic approach for selection of spatial and temporal models of community organization

E. Godínez-Domínguez1,2,*, J. Freire1

1Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Universidad de A Coruña, Campus da Zapateira s/n, A Coruña 15071, Spain
2Centro de Ecología Costera, Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur, Universidad de Guadalajara, V. Gómez Farias 82, San Patricio-Melaque, Jalisco 48980, Mexico

ABSTRACT: The literature on the ecology of marine assemblages includes frequent examples of data analysis with no well-defined alternative hypotheses for the definition of environmental variables (independent matrix for multivariate methods). Alternative models, whereby spatial or temporal patterns are investigated, should be explicitly assumed. We present a parsimonious procedure for model selection in multivariate data combined with canonical correspondence analysis to determine the measure of explained variance for each tested model, using Akaike¹s information criterion (AIC) for model selection. The AIC procedure is an effective tool for model selection and, in contrast to other conventional procedures that use only 1 implicit model and ignore other community patterns, it provides a framework for ranking hierarchical patterns that adds an alternative non-disjunctive perspective to assemblage analysis. Hierarchical patterns are revealed as layers in a scale-dependent framework.

KEY WORDS: Akaike¹s information criterion · Model selection · Spatial models · Temporal models · Canonical correspondence analysis · Parsimony · Marine benthic communities · Community dynamics

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