Abstract. The concept of trajectory of a vegetation type is used as a tool to study the position of vegetation types in a multidimensional climatic space. This space was obtained by Principal Component Analysis based on climatic data ‐ based on monthly means. The positions of the main vegetation types distinguished in China were plotted in the climatic space and trajectory lengths and shapes of the types were compared. Three main groups were found, which correspond to: (1) cold and temperate, (2) alpine and mountain, and (3) subtropical and tropical conditions. Within each main category sub‐categories were distinguished on the basis of trajectory length and direction. In total, seven trajectory shapes were defined. Based on the correlation between climatic variables and PCA‐axes temperature is suggested to be the overriding factor in determining the trajectory shape. But, trajectories can also be affected by the combination of other climatic variables.
Journal of Vegetation Science – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1992
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