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Caribbean coral reef structure and biodiversity - Comparing boosted regression tree & multiple regression approaches

Author(s): Eric Womack

Virginia Commonwealth University

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In this exercise, we’ll attempt to recreate the Newman et al. 2015 Journal of Animal Ecology 2015, 84, 1678–1689 Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) analysis of the relationship between coral reef structure and fish biodiversity. We will compare our BRT model with that reported in the paper. Next, we’ll create a multiple regression model with the same data to compare the results of this approach with that of the BRT. Finally, after working through the tutorial example focused on reef fish biodiversity, we cut you loose to practice what you have learned with an analysis of the relationship between reef structure and total reef species richness (i.e., not just fish).

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