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A spatially constrained ecological classification: rationale, methodology and implementation

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Plant Ecology. 158: 153-160.


The theory, methodology and implementation for an ecological and spatially constrained classification are presented. Ecological and spatial relationships among several landscape variables are analyzed in order to define a new approach for a landscape classification. Using ecological and geostatistical analyses, several ecological and spatial weights are derived to recreate landscape pattern and structure in a classification model. An ecological and spatial constrained classification is obtained such that it describes the forms of scale and spatial variation of several ecological variables. As an example, several ecological factors are identified applying multivariate analysis methods on a collection of variables (remotely sensed measures of vegetation activity and water balance variables) to define ecological weights. Posteriorly, by analyzing the forms of spatial variation and scales through semivariogram analysis, several necessary spatial weights are derived to spatially constrain the classification. Ecological and spatial information derived from previous analysis is used as GIS mapping tools (i.e, constrained rules) to recreate patterns of regional ecosystems. The approach is successfully implemented for the analysis of tropical forest ecosystems in Mexico.


ecological classification; ecological weights; geostatistics; landscape structure and patterning; scales; spatial weights; spatial variation


Mora, Franz; Iverson, Louis. 2002. A spatially constrained ecological classification: rationale, methodology and implementation. Plant Ecology. 158: 153-160.

Last updated on: October 18, 2007