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I've read a few ecological papers where a 'BEST' procedure is used to assess effect of environmental parameters on biological community composition, after multivariate analysis like MDS. For instance in Kimball et al. (2014) :

" Effects of environmental parameters (temperature and salinity) on community composition were analyzed with BEST relating the species abundance matrix to the Euclidean distance matrix of environmental parameters (normalized 30-day pre-collection average). "

Unfortunately, no reference is given for this method and obviously when I try to look for 'BEST analysis' or 'BEST procedure', the results are not relevant. Does anyone know something about this method or any scientific reference about it ? Thanks !

Reference : Kimball, Matthew E., Wendy E. Eash-Loucks, et Kathryn M. Petrinec. 2014. « Long-Term Changes in an Estuarine Mud Crab Community: Evaluating the Impact of Non-Native Species ». Journal of Crustacean Biology 34 (6): 731‑38. https://doi.org/10.1163/1937240X-00002287.

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It appears to be a function used by the Primer software. It may be an implementation of BIOENV (or BIO-ENV). See this documentation: Explanation of Statistical Routines Using Primer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much, it makes more sense because I found in other papers the BIOENV procedure mentionned but nothing about the ' BEST ' function. Looks like they are the same thing ! $\endgroup$ – Circus pygargus Jun 18 '18 at 7:17

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