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Analysing Ecological Data

Handbook / Manual
  • A comprehensive and practical guide to analysing ecological data based on courses given to researchers, environmental consultants and post graduate students.
  • Provides comprehensive introductory chapters together with 17 detailed case study chapters written jointly with former course attendants.
  • Each case study explores the statistical options most appropriate to the ecological questions being asked and will help the reader choose the best approach to analysing their own data.
  • A non-mathematical, but modern approach (GLM, GAM, mixed models, tree models, neural networks) is used throughout the book, making it ideally suited to practicing ecologists and environmental scientists as well as professional statisticians.
  • All data sets from the case studies are available for downloading from

Series: Statistics for Biology and Health Series

By: Alain F Zuur (Author), Elena N Ieno (Author), Graham M Smith (Author)

685 pages, illustrations


Paperback | Dec 2007 | #194124 | ISBN-13: 9781441923578
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £89.50 $115/€103 approx
Hardback | May 2007 | #162296 | ISBN-13: 9780387459677
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £89.50 $115/€103 approx

About this book

Provides a practical introduction to analysing ecological data using real data sets collected as part of postgraduate ecological studies or research projects.

The first part of Analysing Ecological Data gives a largely non-mathematical introduction to data exploration, univariate methods (including GAM and mixed modelling techniques), multivariate analysis, time series analysis (e.g. common trends) and spatial statistics. The second part provides 17 case studies, mainly written together with biologists who attended courses given by the first authors. The case studies include topics ranging from terrestrial ecology to marine biology. The case studies can be used as a template for your own data analysis; just try to find a case study that matches your own ecological questions and data structure, and use this as starting point for you own analysis.

"I liked the compact style of the book and really enjoyed the case studies. The book would be a suitable companion to statistics courses for both ecologists and statisticians at the introductory graduate level!.All in all, I enjoyed reading the book and marvel at the wide range of sophisticated statistical models used in modern ecology."
- Biometrics, 64, March 2008

"Readership: Undergraduates, postgraduates and scientists engaged in areas of the environmental sciences and ecological research. The material presented in this book has been developed and used by the authors in teaching statistics to its intended readership. The text is divided into two parts [...] . I have no doubt that for undergraduate students the main strength of the book will be the breadth of topics covered by the case studies – ranging from terrestrial ecology to marine biology."
- C. M. O'Brien, International Statistical Review, Vol. 75 (3), 2007)

"This is a practical way of analysing ecological data in which methodological approaches are combined with real data sets with the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy discussed. Who is it for? Upper undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in ecology. Presentation It links ecological data, data analysis and discussion of the approaches. Would you recommend it? If you want an edited volume on different methods of ecological data analysis, then this book is worth looking through."
- Times Higher Education, May, 2008

"The book is aimed at three types of readers: ecologists who wish to develop their own statistical skills, quantitative ecologists who want to use more advanced techniques, and statistical scientists seeking more experience analyzing ecological data. [...] Enjoyable aspects of the book include good graphical outputs, with interpretations, in the text. [...] Overall, this book is wroth the purchase price [...] . No other book combines as many good ecological data sets with such thoughtfully written analyses. I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up!"
- Loveday Conquest, Journal of the American Statistical Asociation, Vol. 103 (483), September, 2008

"The book aims to give readers sufficient information to apply statistical methodology in a correct and useful way. [...] the book meets its aim, covering a wide range of statistical techniques and dealing with many situations that are encountered in ecological statistics. This is an excellent, nicely presented and very readable book. I would highly recommend it to numerate researchers and students interested in environment and ecological data analysis."
- Weiqi Luo, Journal of Applied Statistics, Vol. 36 (2), February, 2009

"Analysing Ecological Data by a group of ecologists-gone-statisticians from Scotland is the latest book in this area and based on years of teaching and consultancy experience. [...] The book differs from many of its competitors in its structure: it contains a general introduction to several fields of descriptive ecological data analysis (370 pages), which is augmented with 17 chapter-length case studies [...] . In summary, I can recommend the book primarily as advanced material for ecologists [...] ."
- Carsten F. Dormann, Basic and Applied Ecology, Vol. (10), 2009


- Introduction
- Data management and software
- Advice for teachers
- Exploration
- Linear regression
- Generalised linear modelling
- Additive and generalised additive modelling
- Introduction to mixed modelling
- Univariate tree models
- Measures of association
- Ordination - first encounter
- Principal component analysis and redundancy analysis
- Correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis
- Introduction to discriminant analysis
- Principal coordinate analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling
- Time series analysis
- Introduction
- Common trends and sudden changes
- Analysis and modelling lattice data
- Spatially continuous data analysis and modelling
- Univariate methods to analyse abundance of decapod larvae
- Analysing presence and absence data for flatfish distribution in the Tagus estuary, Portugual
- Crop pollination by honeybees in an Argentinean pampas system using additive mixed modelling
- Investigating the effects of rice farming on aquatic birds with mixed modelling
- Classification trees and radar detection of birds for North Sea wind farms
- Fish stock identification through neural network analysis of parasite fauna
- Monitoring for change: using generalised least squares, nonmetric multidimensional scaling, and the Mantel test on western Montana grasslands
- Univariate and multivariate analysis applied on a Dutch sandy beach community
- Multivariate analyses of South-American zoobenthic species-spoilt for choice
- Principal component analysis applied to harbour porpoise fatty acid data
- Multivariate analysis of morphometric turtle data-size and shape
- Redundancy analysis and additive modelling applied on savanna tree data
- Canonical correspondence analysis of lowland pasture vegetation in the humid tropics of Mexico
- Estimating common trends in Portuguese fisheries landings
- Common trends in demersal communities on the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf
- Sea level change and salt marshes in the Wadden Sea: a time series analysis
- Time series analysis of Hawaiian waterbirds
- Spatial modelling of forest community features in the Volzhsko-Kamsky reserve

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