Modeling for environmental and ecological processes

Authored by: Alan E. Gelfand

Handbook of Environmental and Ecological Statistics

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781498752022
eBook ISBN: 9781315152509
Adobe ISBN:


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The 21st century is witnessing dramatic changes in the way that datasets are being analyzed. Data collection is more and more focused on observational data rather than designed experiments. Datasets are growing increasingly larger. This is particularly true for environmental and ecological data settings. This chapter suggests that a valuable way to infer from such datasets is through formal stochastic model specification. That is, in order to understand and explain the behavior of a complex environmental or ecological process, it can be most effective to build process-based models. Such models introduce simplification but attempt to capture key features of the process and link the model generatively to the data. This chapter attempts to provide a general overview of such modeling enterprise. Many of the subsequent chapters develop sophisticated examples, fabricated according to their context.

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