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Temporal changes of forest species composition studied by compositional data approach

Milan Kobal (1), Damijana Kastelec (2), Klemen Eler (2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 729-738 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2187-010
Published: Aug 01, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles


Many ecological data are compositional and different quantitative techniques have been used to analyze such data, albeit some of them being methodologically wrong. The aim of this contribution is to apply the compositional data approach to forestry data and demonstrate the strengths of this method for percentage or relative data with infrequent zero values. Basal areas of three dominant tree species (Abies alba, Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica) in 119 forest compartments in some of the Omphalodo-Fagetum forests in Slovenia in 1954 and 2004 were used to investigate the dynamics of forest species composition over a 50-year period. For the investigated period some additional data about geomorphology and harvesting rates within the compartments were used as explanatory variables of compositional change. The species composition of each forest compartment was subjected to several methods within a compositional analysis framework: descriptive, ternary diagram-based graphical presentations, significance of compositional differences between management classes, significance of perturbation differences (the indicator of forest compositional change) and relation of the compositional change with the explanatory variables by means of compositional linear model. Results indicated that the silver fir was the dominant species in both years, but a clear reduction in silver fir proportion was observed after 50 years. The perturbation differences indicated comparatively large relative increase in the proportion of Norway spruce between 1954 and 2004. Subsequently, the perturbation differences were subjected to isometric log-transformation (ilr) and two derived ilr coordinates were further used as dependent variables in the multivariate linear model. The initial stand structure correlated well with the perturbation differences. These were also significantly correlations with salvage cutting, a consequence of silver fir decline in the 1954-2004 period. This study demonstrated that the compositional data approach can be successfully used to study forest dynamics yielding some insights into data which are not possible or even not valid using some alternative methods.

  Keywords


Percentage Data, Data Transformation, Compositional Change, Compositional Linear Model, Forest Dynamics, Vegetation Shift, Omphalodo-Fagetum

Authors’ address

(1)
Milan Kobal
University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
(2)
Damijana Kastelec
Klemen Eler
University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Corresponding author

 

Citation

Kobal M, Kastelec D, Eler K (2017). Temporal changes of forest species composition studied by compositional data approach. iForest 10: 729-738. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2187-010

Academic Editor

Luca Salvati

Paper history

Received: Aug 02, 2016
Accepted: May 10, 2017

First online: Aug 01, 2017
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2017
Publication Time: 2.77 months

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