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Changing the Support of a Spatial Covariate: A Simulation Study

Hooks, T., Pedersen, J.F., Marx, D.B., Gaussoin, R.E.
Crop science 2007 v.47 no.2 pp. 622
agricultural research, spatial data, spatial variation, simulation models, geostatistics, covariance, experimental design
Researchers are increasingly able to capture spatially referenced data on both a response and a covariate more frequently and in more detail. A combination of geostatisical models and analysis of covariance methods may be used to analyze such data. However, very basic questions regarding the effects of using a covariate whose support differs from that of the response variable must be addressed to utilize these methods most efficiently. In this experiment, a simulation study was conducted to assess the following: (i) the gain in efficiency when geostatistical models are used, (ii) the gain in efficiency when analysis of covariance methods are used, and (iii) the effects of including a covariate whose support differs from that of the response variable in the analysis. This study suggests that analyses which both account for spatial structure and exploit information from a covariate are most powerful. Also, the results indicate that the support of the covariate should be as close as possible to the support of the response variable to obtain the most accurate experimental results.