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GEOSTATS: Spatial analysis of animal behaviour

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  • Vilis Nams
    I am an animal ecologist, studying how animals respond to their environment at various spatial scales. While I have expertise in general statistical methods, I
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 2, 1998
      I am an animal ecologist, studying how animals respond to
      their environment at various spatial scales. While I have
      expertise in general statistical methods, I have only
      recently started reading the literature on geostatistics,
      but at this point cannot tell if this area has techniques
      that will help me. I would like some feedback on whether it
      would help me to continue in looking at geostatistical
      techniques.

      For a simplistic example, do bears respond to the type of
      habitat in a 1-km square area around them, or a 100-km
      square area? To analyze this, I would estimate mean bear
      abundances and various measures of habitat from sampling
      sites that are of size 1-km square, and also from sampling
      sites that are of size 100-km square. At each spatial scale
      I would then run traditional multivariate analyses relating
      bear abundance to habitat. Unfortunately then I run into the
      problem of variances decreasing with increasing size of
      sampling site, which I need to solve somehow.

      It seems that in geostatistical analyses, spatial scale is
      analyzed by varying distance between samples, rather than
      size of sampling sites. Am I correct in this? Biologically,
      for my systems it seems more reasonable to analyze spatial
      scale by changing the size of sampling sites, because that
      is closer to what the animals are doing. Are there any
      geostatistical techniques that I can use? How to I compare analyses
      done at different spatial scales when variances are a function of
      sampling site size?

      Or, can we transform results from one way of viewing spatial scale to
      the other?

      Thanks, Vilis Nams


      --------------------
      Vilis O. Nams
      Dept of Env. Sciences, NSAC
      Box 550, Truro, NS, Canada
      vnams @ nsac.ns.ca
      -------------------
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    • Duane F. Marble
      There is a substantial amount of work being done on radio tracking of animal movement. This extends back at least three decades and is now quite widely
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 2, 1998
        There is a substantial amount of work being done on radio tracking
        of animal movement. This extends back at least three decades and
        is now quite widely available. The folks in biogeography have also
        developed a number of non-intrusive methods to study animal range.
        Some new GIS-based tools are becoming available to assist in this
        work.

        **************************************************************************
        Professor Emeritus Duane F. Marble * **** E-mail: marble.1@...
        Dept. of Geography Home Page: http://www.geography.ohio-state.edu
        and The Center for Mapping
        The Ohio State University Phone: (614) 292-3409 (CFM) or 292-2250 (Geog)
        Columbus, OH 43210 Fax: (614) 292-8062 (CFM) or 292-6213 (Geog)
        "Nullum Gratuitum Prandium"

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