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Entropy 2013, 15(10), 4266-4284; doi:10.3390/e15104266

Multivariate Conditional Granger Causality Analysis for Lagged Response of Soil Respiration in a Temperate Forest

1,* , 2
1 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Gamboa Unit 9100 Box 0948, Panama 2 Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2070 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH 43210, USA 3 Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 318 W. 12th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210, USA 4 University of Michigan Biological Station, 9133 Biological Rd. Pelston, MI 49769, USA 5 Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 W. Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 25 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
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Ecological multivariate systems offer a suitable data set on which to apply recent advances in information theory and causality detection. These systems are driven by the interplay of various environmental factors: meteorological and hydrological forcing, which are often correlated with each other at different time lags; and biological factors, primary producers and decomposers with both autonomous and coupled dynamics. Here, using conditional spectral Granger causality, we quantify directional causalities in a complex atmosphere-plant-soil system involving the carbon cycle. Granger causality is a statistical approach, originating in econometrics, used to identify the presence of linear causal interactions between time series of data, based on prediction theory. We first test to see if there was a significant difference in the causal structure among two treatments where carbon allocation to roots was interrupted by girdling. We then expanded the analysis, introducing radiation and soil moisture. The results showed a complex pattern of multilevel interactions, with some of these interactions depending upon the number of variables in the system. However, no significant differences emerged in the causal structure of above and below ground carbon cycle among the two treatments.
Keywords: multivariate Granger causality; entropy; environmental studies multivariate Granger causality; entropy; environmental studies
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Detto, M.; Bohrer, G.; Nietz, J.G.; Maurer, K.D.; Vogel, C.S.; Gough, C.M.; Curtis, P.S. Multivariate Conditional Granger Causality Analysis for Lagged Response of Soil Respiration in a Temperate Forest. Entropy 2013, 15, 4266-4284.

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