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The Natural Communities of Virginia
Classification of Ecological Community Groups

Second Approximation (Version 2.7)
Information current as of February, 2016

Table of Contents Table of Contents

Natural Communities of Virginia - Ordination

Cluster Analysis is a method of numerical classification that evaluates the similarity of quantitative samples and, through an interactive statistical process, fuses into clusters those samples that are most similar. Different types of cluster analysis have been used in vegetation ecology: DCR-DNH ecologists use agglomerative-hierarchical cluster analysis , which starts with each sample in its own group and progressively fuses them into larger groups. Results are displayed as a dendrogram, a tree-like graphic that depicts the resolution of progressively fused groups. As an example, this dendrogram shows the clustering of a 72-plot dataset and the identification of four major groups potentially representing vegetation types.