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Forests 2017, 8(3), 59; doi:10.3390/f8030059

Generalized Models: An Application to Identify Environmental Variables That Significantly Affect the Abundance of Three Tree Species

1
División de Estudios de Posgrado-Instituto de Estudios Ambientales, Universidad de la Sierra Juárez, Avenida Universidad S/N, Ixtlán de Juárez, 68725 Oaxaca, Mexico
2
Instituto de Silvicultura e Industria de la Madera, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Km 5.5 Carretera Mazatlán, 34120 Durango, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Damian Adams and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract

In defining the environmental preferences of plant species, statistical models are part of the essential tools in the field of modern ecology. However, conventional linear models require compliance with some parametric assumptions and if these requirements are not met, imply a serious limitation of the applied model. In this study, the effectiveness of linear and nonlinear generalized models was examined to identify the unitary effect of the principal environmental variables on the abundance of three tree species growing in the natural temperate forests of Oaxaca, Mexico. The covariates that showed a significant effect on the distribution of tree species were the maximum and minimum temperatures and the precipitation during specific periods. Results suggest that the generalized models, particularly smoothed models, were able to detect the increase or decrease of the abundance against changes in an environmental variable; they also revealed the inflection of the regression. In addition, these models allow partial characterization of the realized niche of a given species according to some specific variables, regardless of the type of relationship. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate influence; temperate forest; Mexican flora; climatic niche climate influence; temperate forest; Mexican flora; climatic niche
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Antúnez, P.; Hernández-Díaz, J.C.; Wehenkel, C.; Clark-Tapia, R. Generalized Models: An Application to Identify Environmental Variables That Significantly Affect the Abundance of Three Tree Species. Forests 2017, 8, 59.

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