Application of fuzzy set ordination and classification to the study of plant communities in Pangquangou Nature Reserve, China
Fuzzy Set Ordination (FSO) and Fuzzy C-means Classification techniques were used to study the relationships between plant communities and environmental factors in Pangquangou Nature Reserve, Shanxi province of China. Pangquangou Nature Reserve, located at N37°20’-38°20’, E110°18’-111°18’, is a part of Luliang mountain range. Eighty-nine quadrats of 10m x 20m along an elevation gradient were set up and recorded in this area. The results showed that the two methods, FSO and fuzzy C-means classification describe the ecological relations of communities successfully. The results of FSO showed that the distribution of communities is closely related to elevation, water-conditions and humidity, and also related to aspect and slope. Thirteen community types were distinguished by fuzzy C-means classification, and each of them has special characteristics. The combination of FSO and fuzzy C-means classification may be more effective in the studies of community ecology.
KeywordsFuzzy sets quantitative classification ordination plant community vegetation ecology
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