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I have a set of continuous distributions representing the leaf area density found at different heights through a forest canopy. e.g. like that found in Whitehurst et al. (2013):

For each of these foliage density profiles I also have information on the tree species diversity and tree trunk diameter of each tree contributing to the leaf area found in these profiles.

What statistical techniques can I use to test whether these foliage density profiles vary meaningfully as a result of various metrics related to tree diversity such as number of tree species, variance of trunk diameter?

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  • $\begingroup$ One useful thing to do is to visually inspect a 3D scatterplot of the data from different viewing angles and see if any pattern seems obvious. Do you have access to software capable of 3D scatterplotting and 3D surface (z=f(x,y) modeling? $\endgroup$ – James Phillips Jan 10 at 17:29
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You are looking for functional data analysis, which is the branch of statistics where "observations" are entire curves, which are then modeled in various ways. There are a couple of eponymous textbooks cited in Wikipedia. We also have a tag .

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