[R] How to analyse this type of data...?

ONKELINX, Thierry Thierry.ONKELINX at inbo.be
Fri Sep 30 16:25:00 CEST 2011

Dear Luc,

IMHO a multinomial mixed model is appropriate for your data. It allows you to model tree species with bird id and period as covariates. Have a look at the vignette of the MCMCglmm package. You will find an example on hornets.

Best regards,


PS R-sig-mixed models is a better list for asking questions on mixed models.
Van: r-help-bounces op r-project.org [r-help-bounces op r-project.org] namens _Luc_ [l.temarvelde op nioo.knaw.nl]
Verzonden: vrijdag 30 september 2011 14:07
Aan: r-help op r-project.org
Onderwerp: [R] How to analyse this type of data...?

We have data on habitat use of a bird species (30 radio-tracked individuals).
We followed each bird every day for ~45 min for 6 weeks. We recorded a
number of things, each minute (a device would beep every minute and we would
write down a number of variables). I recorded for example at what kind of
tree the bird was foraging on each minute during the observation. In my
study area, there are 4 tree species and i want to know if there is a shift
in tree species use over the study period (for example, species 1 is used
mostly in the beginning, whereas species 3 is only used in the last period
of the study while species 4 & 2 are used at the same frequency throughout
the study period). In total, tree use is 100% if it always is observed in a
tree. Problem is, that the use of tree species is correlated... because if a
bird forages in species 1, it automatically does not forage at species 2,3 &
4 at that time. I was wondering how to analyse these data with respect to my
question. I can account for multiple observations per bird by adding bird as
a random effect in a linear mixed model... but how can i account for the
dependence of my tree species?

Any advise is welcome...

Kind regards

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