Recently, analytical approaches based on the eigenfunctions of spatial configuration matrices have been proposed in order to consider explicitly spatial predictors. The present study demonstrates the usefulness of eigenfunctions in spatial modeling applied to ecological problems and shows equivalencies of and differences between the two current implementations of this methodology. The two approaches in this category are the distance-based (DB) eigenvector maps proposed by P. Legendre and his colleagues, and spatial filtering based upon geographic connectivity matrices (i.e., topology-based; CB) developed by D. A. Griffith and his colleagues. In both cases, the goal is to create spatial predictors that can be easily incorporated into conventional regression models. One important advantage of these two approaches over any other spatial approach is that they provide a flexible tool that allows the full range of general and generalized linear modeling theory to be applied to ecological and geographical problems in the presence of nonzero spatial autocorrelation.
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