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Community Ecology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

An ecological assessment of the United States mid-Atlantic region using rank frequency distributions based on watershed quintiles

  • G. P. Patil
  • C. Taillie
  • R. Vraney
Article

Abstract

When working with raw data for multiple environmental indicators, it can be difficult to assess quality or ‘health’ because of the large number of indicators and inconsistencies among the indicators. By grouping the raw data into rankings, the data become more manageable and more comprehensible. We do not, however, want to lose information as a result of the groupings. It is possible to assess the quality of grouping options graphically by seeing if the resulting assessments of ‘health’ are concordant with the raw data. This can be done through the use of CDF-index values, cumulative distribution function plots, parallel coordinates plots, and scatterplots. A major purpose of this paper is to present approaches and the graphics for comparison and prioritization based on quintiles used, in this case, for ecological assessment of a large region.

Keywords

Comparison and prioritization Ecological assessment Multiple watershed indicators Nine-tiles Parallel coordinates plots Quintiles Rank distribution function plots Rank frequency distribution Septiles Triangle composition plots 

Abbreviations

CDF

Cumulative Distribution Function

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

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References

  1. Jones, B. K., K.H. Ritters, J. D. Wickham, R. D. Tankersley Jr., R. V. O’Neill, D. J. Chaloud, E. R. Smith, A. C. Neale. 1997. An Ecological Assessment of the United States Mid-Atlantic Region: A Landscape Atlas. EPA 600-R-97-130, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Wegman, E. J. 1990. “Hyperdimensional data analysis using parallel coordinates,” Journal of the American Statistical Association 85, 664–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Environmental Protection Agency, (1999). Data on “Additional Information about Watershed Indicators,” downloaded from https://doi.org/www.epa.gov/maia/html/la-tableal.html

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2001

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. P. Patil
    • 1
  • C. Taillie
    • 1
  • R. Vraney
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Statistical Ecology and Environmental StatisticsPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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