Working Group: Integrating the Statistical Modeling of Spatial Data in Ecology

Integrating the Statistical Modeling of Spatial Data in Ecology

In many areas of ecology there is an increasing emphasis on spatial relationships. Often ecologists are interested in new ways of analyzing data with the objective of quantifying spatial patterns, and in designing surveys and experiments in light of the recognition that there may be underlying spatial pattern in biotic responses. In doing so, ecologists have adopted a number of widely different techniques and approaches derived from different schools of thought, and from other scientific disciplines. While the adaptation of a diverse array of statistical approaches and methodologies for the analysis of spatial data has yielded considerable insight into various ecological problems, this diversity of approaches has sometimes impeded communication and retarded more rapid progress in this emergent area. Many of these different statistical methods provide similar information about spatial characteristics, but the differences among these methods make it difficult to compare the results of studies that employ contrasting approaches.

The papers below explore possible areas of agreement and synthesis between a diversity of approaches to spatial analysis in ecology. They are the product of a working group, "Integrating the Statistical Modeling of Spatial Data in Ecology", which was composed of a diverse set of scientists interested in various aspects of the statistical analysis of spatial data in Ecology. These papers appear in a special section of the October, 2002 issue of the journal "Ecography". We thank the Nordic Ecological Society for allowing us to make these papers available here. More information about the journal, "Ecography", can be viewed at their web site.

Click on the "PDF" link to view each paper
  • Liebhold, A. M. and Gurevitch, J. 2002. Integrating the statistical analysis of spatial data in ecology. Ecography 25: 553-557. PDF
  • Dale, M. R. T., Dixon, P., Fortin, M. –J., Legendre, P., Myers, D. E. and Rosenberg, M. S. 2002. Conceptual and mathematical relationships among methods for spatial analysis. Ecography 25: 558-577. PDF
  • Perry, J. N., Liebholt, A. M., Rosenberg, M. S., Dungan, J., Miriti, M., Jakomulska, A. and Citron-Pousy, S. 2002. Illustrations and guidelines for selecting statistical methods for quantifying spatial paterrns in ecological data. Ecography 25: 578-600. PDF
  • Legendre, P., Dale, M. R. T., Fortin, M.-J., Gurevitch, J., Hohn, M., and Myers, D. 2002. The consequences of spatial structure for the design and analysis of ecological field surveys. Ecography 25: 601-615. PDF
  • Keitt, T. H., Bjørnstad, O., Dixon, P. and Citron-Pousty, S. 2002. Accounting for spatial pattern when modeling organism-environment interactions. Ecography 25: 616-625. PDF
  • Dungan, J. L., Perry, J. N., Dale, M. R. T., Legendre, P., Citron-Pousty, S., Fortin, M.-J., Jakomulska, A., Miriti M., and Rosenberg, M. S. 2002. A balanced view of scale in spatial statistical analysis. Ecography 25: 626-640. PDF

NCEAS "statmod" working group: from left to right, Mike Hohn, Steve Citron-Pousty, Phil Dixon, Marie-Josée Fortin, Joe Perry, Jennifer Dungan, Mark Dale, Maria Miriti, Mike Rosengberg, Jessica Gurevitch, Sandy Liebhold, Don Myers, Pierre Legendre, Ottar Bjørnstad, Tim Keit, Dawn Kaufman Last updated 07/08/02