On testing biological data for the presence of a boundary

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Milne, A. E., Wheeler, H. C. and Lark, R. M. 2006. On testing biological data for the presence of a boundary. Annals of Applied Biology. 149 (2), pp. 213-222.

AuthorsMilne, A. E., Wheeler, H. C. and Lark, R. M.
Abstract

Under the boundary line model for a biological data set, where one variable is a biological response (e.g. crop yield) to an independent variable (e.g. available water content of the soil), we interpret the upper (or lower) boundary on a plot of the dependent variable (ordinate) against the independent variable (abscissa) as representing the maximum (or minimum) possible response for a given value of the independent variable. This concept has been widely used in soil science, agronomy and plant physiology; but it has been subject to criticism. In particular, no methods that are used to analyse the boundary line quantify the evidence that the envelope of the plot represents a boundary (in the sense of some limiting response to the independent variable) rather than simply being a fringe of extreme values of no intrinsic biological interest. In this article, we present a novel procedure that tests a data set for evidence of a boundary by considering its statistical properties in the region of the proposed boundary. The method is demonstrated using both simulated and real data sets.

KeywordsAgriculture, Multidisciplinary
Year of Publication2006
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Journal citation149 (2), pp. 213-222
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1744-7348.2006.00085.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code513
ISSN00034746
PublisherWiley

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