Practical aspects of compositional analysis as applied to pheasant habitat utilization.
The analysis of habitat utilization by animals is a complex subject at the limit of current methodology. As a result, several techniques commonly in use or recommended (Neu et al. 1974, Alldredge & Ratti 1986, White & Garrott 1990) are not always suited to habitat analysis. In this chapter, we present an alternative method of analysing habitat usage based on compositional analysis (Aitchison 1986). Our aim is to provide a practical and readily understandable example of how to apply the technique to radio-tracking data; the statistical details underlying the method will be published elsewhere (Aebischer et al. submitted).
The example refers to radio-tagged female pheasants, whose habitat utilization is considered to act in two stages: selection of a home range from within an arbitrarily defined study area, and differential use of habitat types within the home range.