, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 165–175

Use of ordination and other multivariate descriptive methods to study succession

  • M. P. Austin

DOI: 10.1007/BF02097067

Cite this article as:
Austin, M.P. Plant Ecol (1977) 35: 165. doi:10.1007/BF02097067


Multivariate techniques can be applied to both the static approach to succession (determining trends from data collected at one time) and the dynamic approach (observing actual change following perturbation). Such applications, which are few in number, are reviewed; and two studies are described in more detail: a numerical analysis of Australian rain-forest succession by Williams et al. (1969b), and a study of lawn succession as influenced by shading and trampling effects, by the author. Complex data embodying threefold relationships (sites × times × species) are shown to be amenable to multivariate analyses, and to representation of successional change by trajectories in an ordination field. Multivariate approaches have advantage over classificatory approaches for the description and understanding of interactions between spatial pattern, and change through time. Problems of experimental design and modelling for such studies are discussed.


LawnMultivariate methodsOrdinationRainforestSuccession

Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b.v. - Publishers 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Austin
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Land Use ResearchCSIROCanberra CityAustralia