Multivariate mapping of spatial variation in biodiversity in Peruvian Amazonia

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Variation of biodiversity over 72 600 km2 of tropical rain forest was mapped by multiple characteristics using a new combined nominal–numerical classification system. Three hundred and sixty-nine tree genera were grouped into classes by eight taxonomic, geographical, phylogenetic and ecological characteristics. Each grid cell was assigned to a nominal biodiversity type by its dominant classes and classified numerically by its share of total variation in study area biodiversity. Differentiation of 0.5° cells by nominal classification was inferior to numerical classification, but improved at higher resolution. The nominal and numerical classifications were shown to have potential for complementary roles in conservation planning.

Keywords: Amazonia; biodiversity classification; biodiversity mapping; biodiversity representation; conservation planning; nominal–numerical classification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations:  School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, U.K., Email:

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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