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Putting things in even better order: the advantages of canonical correspondence analysis

Palmer, M. W.
Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) is quickly becoming the most widely used gradient analysis technique in ecology. The CCA algorithm is based upon Correspondence Analysis (CA), an indirect gradient analysis (ordination) technique. CA and a related ordination technique, Detrended Correspondence Analysis, have been criticized for a number of reasons. To test whether CCA suffers from the same defects, I simulated data sets with properties that usually cause problems for DCA. Results indicate that CCA performs quite well with skewed species distributions, with quantitative noise in species abundance data, with samples taken from unusual sampling designs, with highly intercorrelated environmental variables, and with situations where not all of the factors determining species composition are known. CCA is immune to most of the problems of DCA.