A discrete mathematical method for the analysis of spatial pattern


A discrete mathematical method, based on the Jakó Iterative Canonical Forms (ICF) of Boolean functions is proposed for the analysis of species combinations and the detection of characteristic areas in plant communities. Information on species combinations (or florulas) appearing in a sample is expressed in compact form to reveal fundamental properties of community pattern. The new method provides a complementary tool for the florula diversity approach: whereas florula diversity is indicative of the frequency distribution of species combinations regardless their interrelationships, the new procedure detects complexity in the abstract structure of species combinations. Graph-theoretical representations of the ICF promote understanding the new method and visualizing its results. A cellular automata model and field data provide illustrative examples.



Cellular Automata


Canonical Disjunctive Normal Form


Florula Diversity


Iterative Canonical Form


Number of species combinations


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Ittzés, P., Jakó, É., Kun, Á. et al. A discrete mathematical method for the analysis of spatial pattern. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 6, 177–190 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.6.2005.2.6

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  • Boolean functions
  • Cellular automata
  • Graphs
  • Species pattern
  • Vegetation