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An analysis of the analysis of herbivore population dynamics

Månsson, Lena LU and Lundberg, Per LU (2006) In Oikos 113(2). p.217-225
Abstract
Time series analysis of herbivore data with weather included as covariate is commonly used as a mean to shed light on the state and ecology of the studied population. Conclusions about the herbivore population are drawn from statistical parameter values and presence/absence in the most parsimonious model. However, this procedure is only reliable if the statistical parameters have general interpretations regardless of system characteristics. Here we investigated the extent to which this is true by deriving six different vegetation-herbivore-systems and analyzing their respective statistical parameters. The analysis was done in both continuous and discrete time. It turned out that both density parameters (a(1) and a(2)) and rainfall... (More)
Time series analysis of herbivore data with weather included as covariate is commonly used as a mean to shed light on the state and ecology of the studied population. Conclusions about the herbivore population are drawn from statistical parameter values and presence/absence in the most parsimonious model. However, this procedure is only reliable if the statistical parameters have general interpretations regardless of system characteristics. Here we investigated the extent to which this is true by deriving six different vegetation-herbivore-systems and analyzing their respective statistical parameters. The analysis was done in both continuous and discrete time. It turned out that both density parameters (a(1) and a(2)) and rainfall coefficients change with biological interactions and amount of average rainfall, and they do so in different ways in different systems. This means that there is no valid general interpretation of them and, most important, the probability of detecting density dependence and effects of rainfall vary between systems. Hence, you can not make inference about the biological processes from statistical analysis without knowing the system that you study and what model best describes the interactions within it. (Less)
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author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oikos
volume
113
issue
2
pages
217 - 225
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000237655400002
  • scopus:33646891073
ISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14362.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
64edc2f3-6e11-4092-aa15-27a18eec41c3 (old id 159601)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:20:00
date last changed
2021-09-22 03:51:41
@article{64edc2f3-6e11-4092-aa15-27a18eec41c3,
  abstract     = {Time series analysis of herbivore data with weather included as covariate is commonly used as a mean to shed light on the state and ecology of the studied population. Conclusions about the herbivore population are drawn from statistical parameter values and presence/absence in the most parsimonious model. However, this procedure is only reliable if the statistical parameters have general interpretations regardless of system characteristics. Here we investigated the extent to which this is true by deriving six different vegetation-herbivore-systems and analyzing their respective statistical parameters. The analysis was done in both continuous and discrete time. It turned out that both density parameters (a(1) and a(2)) and rainfall coefficients change with biological interactions and amount of average rainfall, and they do so in different ways in different systems. This means that there is no valid general interpretation of them and, most important, the probability of detecting density dependence and effects of rainfall vary between systems. Hence, you can not make inference about the biological processes from statistical analysis without knowing the system that you study and what model best describes the interactions within it.},
  author       = {Månsson, Lena and Lundberg, Per},
  issn         = {1600-0706},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {217--225},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {An analysis of the analysis of herbivore population dynamics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14362.x},
  doi          = {10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14362.x},
  volume       = {113},
  year         = {2006},
}