NCEAS Project 2162

Integrating the statistical modeling of spatial data in ecology

  • Andrew M. Liebhold
  • Jessica Gurevitch

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group18th—23rd July 1999Participant List  
Working Group20th—24th February 2000Participant List  
Working Group26th June—1st July 2000Participant List  

Members Only Area

In a variety of ecological disciplines, there is growing interest in quantifying and modeling spatial patterns. This trend reflects the growing recognition of the importance of spatial processes in shaping ecological interactions. Several different approaches have been employed by ecologists for quantifying patterns in spatial data. One approach, developed originally by geographers, focuses on quantifying spatial autocorrelation and hypothesis testing. Geostatistics is another approach that was originally developed by geologists for quantifying and Interpolating spatial data. A third approach, "point process" statistics, was developed for analyzing patterns in the physical location of plants and animals. All of these methods have unique features that are desirable in ecological applications but the relationships and similarities among these methods have not been fully explored. The diversity of these various approaches is sometimes overwhelming to ecologists and may represent an impediment to the choice of effective statistical methods for the analysis of ecological data. We propose to assemble a working group of 10-12 scientists representing a spectrum of backgrounds, including pure statistics and various ecological disciplines. The group will compare these differing approaches to spatial analysis and summarize their similarities and differences. Ultimately we intend to provide a road map for ecologists to use in the selection of statistical methods for analyzing spatial data.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Data Set Citron-Pousty, Steven I. 2005. Exhaustive map and gridded maps of locations of isopod burrows and environmental variables in a desert site in Israel. (Online version)
Journal Article Csillag, R.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Dungan, Jennifer L. 2000. On the limits and extensions of the definition of scale. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. Vol: 81. Pages 230-232.
Journal Article Dale, Mark; Dixon, Philip; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Legendre, Pierre; Myers, Donald; Rosenberg, Michael S. 2002. Conceptual and mathematical relationships among methods for spatial analysis. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 558-577. (Abstract)
Data Set Dixon, Philip; Liebhold, Andrew M. 2006. Exhaustive map locations of tupelo trees sampled in bottomland forests. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Dungan, Jennifer L.; Perry, Joe N.; Dale, Mark; Legendre, Pierre; Citron-Pousty, Steven I.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Jakomulska, Anna; Miriti, Maria; Rosenberg, Michael S. 2002. A balanced view of scale in spatial statistical analysis. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 626-640. (Abstract)
Journal Article Keitt, Timothy H.; Bjornstad, Ottar N.; Dixon, Philip; Citron-Pousty, Steven I. 2002. Accounting for spatial pattern when modeling organism-environment interactions. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 616-625. (Abstract)
Journal Article Legendre, Pierre; Dale, Mark; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Gurevitch, Jessica; Hohn, Michael; Myers, Donald. 2002. The consequences of spatial structure for the design and analysis of ecological field surveys. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 601-615. (Abstract)
Journal Article Legendre, Pierre; Dale, Mark; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Casgrain, Philippe; Gurevitch, Jessica. 2004. Effects of spatial structures on the results of field experiments. Ecology. Vol: 85(12). Pages 3202-3214.
Data Set Liebhold, Andrew M.; Gurevitch, Jessica. 1999. Data sets for integrating the statistical modeling of spatial data in ecology.
Journal Article Liebhold, Andrew M.; Gurevitch, Jessica. 2002. Integrating the statistical analysis of spatial data in ecology. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 553-557. (Abstract)
Data Set Miriti, Maria. 2007. Spatial locations and size measurements of Ambrosia dumosa in Joshua Tree National Park. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Perry, Joe N.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Rosenberg, Michael S.; Dungan, Jennifer L.; Miriti, Maria; Jakomulska, Anna; Citron-Pousty, Steven I. 2002. Illustrations and guidelines for selecting statistical methods for quantifying spatial pattern in ecological data. Ecography. Vol: 25. Pages 578-600. (Abstract)