Environmental and Ecological Statistics

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 389–405 | Cite as

Hierarchical spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

  • Janine B. Illian
  • Jesper Møller
  • Rasmus P. Waagepetersen


A complex multivariate spatial point pattern of a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially a maximum likelihood approach to inference where problems arise due to unknown interaction radii for the plants. We next demonstrate that a Bayesian approach provides a flexible framework for incorporating prior information concerning the interaction radii. From an ecological perspective, we are able both to confirm existing knowledge on species’ interactions and to generate new biological questions and hypotheses on species’ interactions.


Bayesian inference Ecological plant communities Maximum likelihood Multivariate spatial point process Spatial interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janine B. Illian
    • 1
  • Jesper Møller
    • 2
  • Rasmus P. Waagepetersen
    • 2
  1. 1.CREEM, School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of St AndrewsFifeScotland, UK
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical SciencesAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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