Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics

, 7:324

A general approach to modeling and analysis of species abundance data with extra zeros


    • School of Land and Food SciencesThe University of Queensland
  • M. J. Faddy
    • School of Mathematics and StatisticsThe University of Birmingham
  • G. K. Smyth
    • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research

DOI: 10.1198/108571102221

Cite this article as:
Podlich, H.M., Faddy, M.J. & Smyth, G.K. JABES (2002) 7: 324. doi:10.1198/108571102221


A general method for the analysis of ecological count data with extra zeros is presented using a Markov birth process representation of discrete distributions. The method uses a non parametric formulation of the birth process to model the residual variation and therefore allows the data to play a greater role in determining an appropriate distribution. This enables a more critical assessment of covariate effects and more accurate predictions to be made. The approach is also presented as a useful diagnostic tool for suggesting appropriate parametric models or verifying standard models. As an ill ustrative example, data describing a bundance of a species of possum from the montane ash forests of the central highlands of Victoria, southeast Australia, is considered.

Key Words

Covariate effectsExtended Poisson process modelPenalized likelihoodPrediction
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© International Biometric Society 2002