Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Assessing temporal scales and patterns in time series: Comparing methods based on redundancy analysis

Ludovic Baho, Didier; Futter, Martyn; Johnson, Richard; Angeler, David

Abstract

Time-series modelling techniques are powerful tools for studying temporal scaling structures and dynamics present in ecological and other complex systems and are gaining popularity for assessing resilience quantitatively. Among other methods, canonical ordinations based on redundancy analysis are increasingly used for determining temporal scaling patterns that are inherent in ecological data. However, modelling outcomes and thus inference about ecological dynamics and resilience may vary depending on the approaches used. In this study, we compare the statistical performance, logical consistency and information content of two approaches: (i) asymmetric eigenvector maps (AEM) that account for linear trends and (ii) symmetric distance-based Moran's eigenvector maps (MEM), which requires detrending of raw data to remove linear trends prior to analysis. Our comparison is done using long-term water quality data (25 years) from three Swedish lakes. This data set therefore provides the opportunity for assessing how the modelling approach used affects performance and inference in time series modelling. We found that AEM models had consistently more explanatory power than MEM, and in two out of three lakes AEM extracted one more temporal scale than MEM. The scale-specific patterns detected by AEM and MEM were uncorrelated. Also individual water quality variables explaining these patterns differed between methods, suggesting that inferences about systems dynamics are dependent on modelling approach. These findings suggest that AEM might be more suitable for assessing dynamics in time series analysis compared to MEM when temporal trends are relevant. The AEM approach is logically consistent with temporal autocorrelation where earlier conditions can influence later conditions but not vice versa. The symmetric MEM approach, which ignores the asymmetric nature of time, might be suitable for addressing specific questions about the importance of correlations in fluctuation patterns where there are no confounding elements of linear trends or a need to assess causality. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Keywords

Moran's eigenvector maps; Asymmetric eigenvector maps; Temporal scales; Time-series modelling; Complex adaptive systems

Published in

Ecological Complexity
2015, volume: 22, pages: 162-168
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

Authors' information

Ludovic Baho, Didier (Ludovic Baho, Didier)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG6 Clean water

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2015.04.001

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/68554