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  • 1 Collegium Budapest Szentháromság u. 2., H-1014 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Research Group of Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös University Pázmány P. sétány 1/c, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eötvös University Pázmány P. sétány 1/c, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • 4 Research Institute for Botany and Ecology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Alkotmány u. 2-4, H-2163 Vácrátót, Hungary
  • 5 Department of Plant Taxonomy and Ecology, Eötvös University Pázmány P. sétány 1/c, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
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A discrete mathematical method, based on the Jakó Iterative Canonical Forms (ICF) of Boolean functions is proposed for the analysis of species combinations and the detection of characteristic areas in plant communities. Information on species combinations (or florulas) appearing in a sample is expressed in compact form to reveal fundamental properties of community pattern. The new method provides a complementary tool for the florula diversity approach: whereas florula diversity is indicative of the frequency distribution of species combinations regardless their interrelationships, the new procedure detects complexity in the abstract structure of species combinations. Graph-theoretical representations of the ICF promote understanding the new method and visualizing its results. A cellular automata model and field data provide illustrative examples.

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