QUANTILE REGRESSION REVEALS HIDDEN BIAS AND UNCERTAINTY IN HABITAT MODELS

QUANTILE REGRESSION REVEALS HIDDEN BIAS AND UNCERTAINTY IN HABITAT MODELS We simulated the effects of missing information on statistical distributions of animal response that covaried with measured predictors of habitat to evaluate the utility and performance of quantile regression for providing more useful intervals of uncertainty in habitat relationships. These procedures were evaulated for conditions in which heterogeneity and hidden bias were induced by confounding with missing variables associated with other improtant processes, a problem common in statistical modeling of ecological phenomena. Simulations for a large ( N == 10 000) finite population representing grid locations on a landscape demonstrated various forms of hidden bias that might occur when the effect of a measured habitat variable on some animal was confounded with the effect of another unmeasured variable. Quantile (0 ≤ τ ≤ 1) regression parameters for linear models that excluded the important, unmeasured variable revealed bias relative to parameters from the generating model. Depending on whether interactions of the measured and unmeasured variables were negative (interference interactions) or positive (facilitation interactions) in simulations without spatial structuring, either upper (τ > 0.5) or lower (τ < 0.5) quantile regression parameters were less biased than mean rate parameters. Heterogeneous, nonlinear response patterns occurred with correlations between the measured and unmeasured variables. When the unmeasured variable was spatially structured, variation in parameters across quantiles associated with heterogeneous effects of the habitat variable was reduced by modeling the spatial trend surface as a cubic polynomial of location coordinates, but substantial hidden bias remained. Sampling ( n == 20–300) simulations demonstrated that regression quantile estimates and confidence intervals constructed by inverting weighted rank score tests provided valid coverage of these parameters. Local forms of quantile weighting were required for obtaining correct Type I error rates and confidence interval coverage. Quantile regression was used to estimate effects of physical habitat resources on a bivalve ( Macomona liliana ) in the spatially structured landscape on a sandflat in a New Zealand harbor. Confidence intervals around predicted 0.10 and 0.90 quantiles were used to estimate sampling intervals containing 80%% of the variation in densities in relation to bed elevation. Spatially structured variation in bivalve counts estimated by a cubic polynomial trend surface remained after accounting for the nonlinear effects of bed elevation, indicating the existence of important spatially structured processes that were not adequately represented by the measured habitat variables. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Ecological Society of America

QUANTILE REGRESSION REVEALS HIDDEN BIAS AND UNCERTAINTY IN HABITAT MODELS

Ecology, Volume 86 (3) – Mar 1, 2005

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ecological-society-of-america/quantile-regression-reveals-hidden-bias-and-uncertainty-in-habitat-CpP8PyqPxv
Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Articles
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/04-0785
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We simulated the effects of missing information on statistical distributions of animal response that covaried with measured predictors of habitat to evaluate the utility and performance of quantile regression for providing more useful intervals of uncertainty in habitat relationships. These procedures were evaulated for conditions in which heterogeneity and hidden bias were induced by confounding with missing variables associated with other improtant processes, a problem common in statistical modeling of ecological phenomena. Simulations for a large ( N == 10 000) finite population representing grid locations on a landscape demonstrated various forms of hidden bias that might occur when the effect of a measured habitat variable on some animal was confounded with the effect of another unmeasured variable. Quantile (0 ≤ τ ≤ 1) regression parameters for linear models that excluded the important, unmeasured variable revealed bias relative to parameters from the generating model. Depending on whether interactions of the measured and unmeasured variables were negative (interference interactions) or positive (facilitation interactions) in simulations without spatial structuring, either upper (τ > 0.5) or lower (τ < 0.5) quantile regression parameters were less biased than mean rate parameters. Heterogeneous, nonlinear response patterns occurred with correlations between the measured and unmeasured variables. When the unmeasured variable was spatially structured, variation in parameters across quantiles associated with heterogeneous effects of the habitat variable was reduced by modeling the spatial trend surface as a cubic polynomial of location coordinates, but substantial hidden bias remained. Sampling ( n == 20–300) simulations demonstrated that regression quantile estimates and confidence intervals constructed by inverting weighted rank score tests provided valid coverage of these parameters. Local forms of quantile weighting were required for obtaining correct Type I error rates and confidence interval coverage. Quantile regression was used to estimate effects of physical habitat resources on a bivalve ( Macomona liliana ) in the spatially structured landscape on a sandflat in a New Zealand harbor. Confidence intervals around predicted 0.10 and 0.90 quantiles were used to estimate sampling intervals containing 80%% of the variation in densities in relation to bed elevation. Spatially structured variation in bivalve counts estimated by a cubic polynomial trend surface remained after accounting for the nonlinear effects of bed elevation, indicating the existence of important spatially structured processes that were not adequately represented by the measured habitat variables.

Journal

EcologyEcological Society of America

Published: Mar 1, 2005

Keywords: bivalves ; habitat ; hidden bias ; limiting factors ; quantile regression ; rank score tests ; spatial trend

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off