Hierarchical non-linear mixed-effects models for estimating growth parameters of western Mediterranean solitary coral populations

Cafarelli, Barbara ; Calculli, Crescenza ; Cocchi, Daniela ; Pignotti, Elettra (2017) Hierarchical non-linear mixed-effects models for estimating growth parameters of western Mediterranean solitary coral populations. Ecological Modelling, 346 . pp. 1-9. ISSN 0304-3800
Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
Text(pdf)
License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

Marine biologists usually assess coral growth through the von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF), a func-tion of several biological parameters linked to age by a non-linear relationship. Coral growth parameters are then evaluated via ordinary least squares after a linear transformation of the VBGF. Current litera-ture focuses on linearization techniques, but these methods are often used without considering a careful data examination and the presence of variability in coral of the same age or in coral of the same colony. For these reasons, a more thorough approach based on a hierarchical non-linear mixed-effects model is proposed. This model takes into account the influence of sites’ characteristics to model heterogeneity between sites. Moreover, the contribution of environmental factors and all the reliable information that may influence coral growth can be suitably modelled. Two model specifications based on the standard and new VBGF parameterizations are introduced to analyse the growth of a solitary coral species Bal-anophyllia europaea. Results from the proposed modelling approach show the importance of including environmental conditions for species coral growth and support; furthermore, the results show the impor-tance of the possibility of accounting for variability from different sources in terms of estimated growth curves.

Abstract
Document type
Article
Creators
CreatorsAffiliationORCID
Cafarelli, BarbaraUniversità di Foggia
Calculli, CrescenzaUniversità di Foggia
Cocchi, DanielaUniversità di Bologna0000-0001-7175-1133
Pignotti, Elettra
Keywords
Solitary corals Von Bertalanffy growth function Parameter estimation Within-between site variability Environmental covariates Uncertainty modelling
Subjects
ISSN
0304-3800
DOI
Deposit date
03 Apr 2017 11:11
Last modified
24 Feb 2019 22:00
Project name
EPHASTAT - Environmental processes and human activities: capturing their interactions via statistical methods
Funding program
MIUR - PRIN
URI

Other metadata

Downloads

Downloads

Staff only: View the document

^