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A Multilevel Approach to Individual Tree Survival Prediction

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Traditionally, modeling of permanent plot individual tree survival has not considered the multiple sources of heterogeneity and correlation that may arise due to the multilevel data structure inherent in the design (e.g., clustering of trees within a plot). Permanent plots are sampled periodically; therefore, data are interval-censored because it is only known that a tree died between two successive measurement occasions. Here, we adopt the complementary log–log (CLL) function for modeling permanent plot interval-censored individual tree survival data. The CLL function is derived directly from the likelihood function of a fully specified statistical model that accounts for interval censoring. In addition, our CLL model considers silvicultural treatment effects on survival. Our data are from young permanent plot loblolly pine plantations that have been measured annually beginning at age 1 year. Each plot was randomly assigned one of four cultural treatments:control (C), herbicide (H), fertilization (F), and herbicide and fertilization (HF). Here we extend the individual tree survival CLL model to allow for trees within a plot and plot level random effects. We demonstrate individual tree survival predictions with and without the inclusion of random effects.

Keywords: Hazard function; complementary log-log function; interval-censored; proportional hazards; random effects

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Charles E. Rose Jr., Mathematical Statistician, Anthrax Vaccine Safety Team NIP/CDC, 1600 Clifton Rd., Mailstop E-61, Atlanta, GA 30333—Phone: (404) 639-3028;, Fax: (404) 639-2483, Email: 2: Daniel B. Hall, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Department of Statistics, Athens, GA 30602-1952—Phone: (706) 542-3302;, Email: 3: Barry D. Shiver, Professor, University of Georgia, Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, Athens, GA 30602—Phone: (706) 542-3009;, Email: 4: Michael L. Clutter, Professor, University of Georgia, Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, Athens, GA 30602—Phone:(706) 542-5448;, Email: 5: Bruce Borders, Professor, University of Georgia, Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, Athens, GA 30602—Phone: (706) 542-6205;, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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