Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics

, 8:205

Autologistic regression model for the distribution of vegetation


DOI: 10.1198/1085711031508

Cite this article as:
He, F., Zhou, J. & Zhu, H. JABES (2003) 8: 205. doi:10.1198/1085711031508


Modeling the contagious distribution of vegetation and species in ecology and biogeography has been a challenging issue. Previous studies have demonstrated that the autologistic regression model is a useful approach for describing the distribution because patial correlation can readily be accounted for in the model. So far studies have been mainly restrained to the first-orderautologistic model. However, the first-order correlationmodel may sometimes be insufficient as long-range dispersal/migration can play a significant role in species distribution. In this study, we used the second-order autologistic regression model to model the distributions of the subarctic evergreen woodland and the boreal evergreen forest in British Columbia, Canada, in terms of climate covariates. We investigated and compared three estimation methods for the second-ordermodel—the maximum pseudo-likelihood method, the Monte Carlo likeli hood method, and the Markov chain Monte Carlo stochasti capproximation. Detailed procedures for these methods were developed and their performances were evaluated through simulations. The study demonstrates the importance for including the second-order correlation in the autologistic model for modeling vegetation distribution at the large geographical scale; each of the two vegetations studied was strongly autocorrelated not only in the south-north direction but also in the north west-southeast direction. The study further concluded that the assessment of climate change should be performed on the basis of individual vegetation or species because different vegetation or species likely respond differently to different sets of climate variables.

Key Words

BiogeographyClimate changeMarkov chain Monte CarloPseudo-likelihoodPresence/absence dataSecond-order neighborsSpatial correlationStochastic approximation

Copyright information

© International Biometric Society 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pacific Forestry CenterCanadian Forest ServiceVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale School of MedicineNew Haven