1st Edition

Spatio-Temporal Models for Ecologists

By James Thorson, Kasper Kristensen Copyright 2024
    294 Pages 82 Color & 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    294 Pages 82 Color & 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    Ecological dynamics are tremendously complicated and are studied at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Ecologists often simplify analysis by describing changes in density of individuals across a landscape, and statistical methods are advancing rapidly for studying spatio-temporal dynamics. However, spatio-temporal statistics is often presented using a set of principles that may seem very distant from ecological theory or practice. This book seeks to introduce a minimal set of principles and numerical techniques for spatio-temporal statistics that can be used to implement a wide range of real-world ecological analyses regarding animal movement, population dynamics, community composition, causal attribution, and spatial dynamics. We provide a step-by-step illustration of techniques that combine core spatial-analysis packages in R with low-level computation using Template Model Builder. Techniques are showcased using real-world data from varied ecological systems, providing a toolset for hierarchical modelling of spatio-temporal processes. Spatio-Temporal Models for Ecologists is meant for graduate level students, alongside applied and academic ecologists.

    Key Features:

    • Foundational ecological principles and analyses
    • Thoughtful and thorough ecological examples
    • Analyses conducted using a minimal toolbox and fast computation
    • Code using R and TMB included in the book and available online

    Part 1: Introductory

    1. Statistical models for individual-based processes

    2. Hierarchical models and Laplace approximation

    Part 2: Basic

    3. Population dynamics and state-space models

    4. Individual movement

    5. Spatial models

    6. Spatial sampling designs and analysis

    7. Covariates affecting densities and detectability

    Part 3: Advanced

    8. Spatio-temporal models with seasonal or multi-year dynamics

    9. Ecological teleconnections

    10. Population movement and habitat selection

    11. Multispecies models for community diversity and biogeography

    12. A decadal forecast for spatio-temporal models

    A. Acknowledgements

    B. Appendices



    James Thorson is a statistical ecologist at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service. His research interests include population dynamics, life-history theory, and methods for the sustainable management of natural resources. He has taught graduate-level courses in hierarchical modelling and spatio-temporal statistics at University of Washington.

    Kasper Kristensen is a Senior Researcher at Danish Technical University. His research interests include spatio-temporal statistics and computational methods. He developed the R-package TMB, which is seeing increased use throughout ecology. For example, TMB is the computational backend for R-package glmmTMB, which has been cited over 3000 times from 2017-2022.