Improving the usability of spatial point process methodology: an interdisciplinary dialogue between statistics and ecology
Janine B. Illian1 · David F. R. P. Burslem2
1 School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Saint Andrews, St Andrews, UK
2 School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
The last few decades have seen an increasing interest and strong development in spatial point process methodology, and associated software that facilitates model fitting has become available. A lot of this progress has made these approaches more accessible to users, through freely available software. However, in the ecological user community the methodology has only been slowly picked up despite its obvious relevance to the field. This paper reflects on this development, highlighting mutual benefits of interdisciplinary dialogue for both statistics and ecology. We detail the contribution point process methodology has made to research on biodiversity theory as a result of this dialogue and reflect on reasons for the slow take-up of the methodology. This primarily concerns the current lack of consideration of the usability of the approaches, which we discuss in detail, presenting current discussions as well as indicating future directions.