Determination of animal behavior-environment relationships by Correspondence Analysis
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CitationDe Miguel, J. M., Rodriguez, M. A., & Gomez-Sal, A. (1997). Determination of animal behavior-environment relationships by correspondence analysis. Journal of Range Management, 50(1), 85-93.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractThe paper describes an analytical procedure to preliminarily investigate large scale animal-environment interactions. The method is based on Correspondence Analysis applied over a contingency table in which the columns are percentage categories of animal activities and the rows, states of environmental variables. Each cell entry in the table represents the number of times a row and a column have been recorded together. This means that investigation of animal-environment interactions does not require defining specific sampling stations, or subdividing the study area into environmental units; i.e. the method can be used in studies in which sampling consisted of following the animals and noting their activities and characteristics of the environment. The graphical display resulting from the analysis shows the main patterns of association between animal activities and environment, and its numerical output allows one to identify the variables that have played a major role in the display. Taking into account these variables and their associated animal activities, the method allows one to define archetypal habitat models for each animal activity. Correspondence Analysis of animal activities by environmental variable matrices may give insights about animal's perception of the environment. The use of the method is illustrated by analyzing habitat preferences of free-ranging cattle during 2 different seasons on an estate in Spain. Results indicate the validity of the method as a first global analysis of the relative importance of environmental variables for the distribution of the animal activities in the landscape.