Strict condensed Cornell format

DECORANA and TWINSPAN distributed from our web sites are based on the original distributions of these programs, and so they use the original strict, condensed Cornell (or CEP = Cornell Ecology Programs) format, only slightly relaxed. It is not a sufficient test that some other installations of DECORANA etc. accept your data files, since input routines of many existing implementations have been hacked by local gurus. In particular, default format in CANOCO does not conform the strict condensed CEP format (we call it 'relaxed strict condensed CANOCO format'). Condensed CANOCO files have usually three title cards whereas strict condensed CEP files have only two title cards. We have relaxed the rules so that these three title cards will be accepted just like in CANOCO. However, there are still some legal CANOCO files which are not accepted by modified DECORANA and TWINSPAN (e.g., non-condensed data, free format). In case of input trouble, check the format below.

Please note that our cepshufl produces relaxed CANOCO files as a default; strict CEP files will be produced by invoking cepshufl with switch -s. CANOCO is often distributed with file editing programs which can be used to convert files between relaxed CANOCO and strict CEP formats. In manual editing of the files, you must use ASCII editors which do not write hidden or unreadable characters in your files (like normal text editors do). Most common examples in PC's are EDIT in MS-DOS prompt, and NotePad or WinPad in Windows (emacs in more serious environments).

File structure

Condensed strict CEP files follow old Fortran tradition of packing information densely in 80-character records ('cards') so that certain information is always found in certain columns. Therefore you have to be careful in counting columns. The file or 'data deck' structure is:

Title card 1

DECORANA and TWINSPAN treat this line as one text string. These programs do not need number of species or number of sites since they find these while reading in the data set. So you can use all 80 columns for the title. However, the original strict format was:

Title card 2

Data records

These should be in condensed format, just like usually in CANOCO.

Empty card

An 'empty' line should follow data lines, just like in CANOCO. You can type here 0 so that you see more easily this line while editing.

Species and sample names

These are required, and they are in the same format as in CANOCO: eight-character acronyms, ten per line.


Jari Oksanen 31/7/97