The vegetation of herb-rich spruce forests in three localities in Brønnøy municipality, W Nordland, N Norway, has been analysed using 120 sample plots, each 25 m2, distributed by a restricted random method. In connection with every sample plot a set of ecological variables have been measured. The most important gradients for the differentiation of the vegetation were identified by DCA ordination and statistical analysis of the vegetational and the ecological data sets. The gradients were: (1) the nutrient gradient, (2) the soil moisture gradient and (3) the microclimate gradient. The importance of choice of ordination technique (DCA or LNMDS) relative to the importance of the choice of some parameters in DCA and LNMDS has been evaluated. Indicating from this evaluation were (1) the choice of weighting function prior to DCA ordination can be as important as the choice of ordination technique when the data set is small; (2) choice of dimensionality in LNMDS is normally not as decisive for the ordination result as the choice of ordination technique and (3) when the data set is larger, the choice of scale range is less decisive for the ordination result than the choice of dimensionality in LNMDS.