Spectral analysis is the most advanced approach to analyse data series. The general concepts upon which spectral analysis is founded are described below and illustrated by ecological applications. However, the analysis cannot be conducted without taking into account a number of theoretical and practical considerations, whose discussion exceeds the scope of the present book. Interested readers should refer, for instance, to the review papers by Platt & Denman (1975) and Fry et al. (1981). They may also consult the book of Bendat & Piersol (1971) and the references provided at the end of Section 12.0. Ecologists wishing to use spectral analysis are advised to consult a colleague with practical experience of the method. Up to now, spectral analysis has been used mostly by engineers, physicists, and Earth scientists, but applications to ecological data series are rapidly increasing in number.
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