Structural Equation Modeling and Ecological Experiments

  • James B. Grace
  • Andrew Youngblood
  • Samule M. Scheiner


Practicing ecologists are generally aware that the conventional approaches to experimental design and analysis presented in standard textbooks fall short of satisfying their scientific aspirations (Carpenter 1990, Miao and Carstenn 2006). It is the thesis of this chapter that an alternative framework, structural equation modeling (SEM), provides both a perspective for seeing some of the limitations of conventional procedures and also suggests expanded possibilities for the design and analysis of experiments. In our presentation, we will first provide a brief description of SEM. Our emphasis shall be on a few key distinctions that help us to describe the essential features of SEM that separate it from other methods. Second, we will examine the analysis of variance (ANOVA) model from the perspective of SEM. We believe that SEM provides a good point of contrast for better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of ANOVA. Following this material, we describe two...


Structural Equation Modeling Bark Beetle Tree Mortality Fire Severity Variance Partitioning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank ShiLi Miao, Craig Stow, Beth Middleton, Jack Waide, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript. The use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only an does not imply endorsement by the US Government. This manuscript is based in part on work done by SMS while serving at the National Science Foundation. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation or the United States Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James B. Grace
    • 1
  • Andrew Youngblood
    • 2
  • Samule M. Scheiner
    • 3
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyNational Wetlands Research CenterLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.La Grande Forestry and Range Sciences LaboratoryLa GrandeUSA
  3. 3.Division of Environmental BiologyNational Science FoundationArlingtonUSA

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