Germination data and time-to-event methods: comparing germination curves

Published at July 20, 2019 ·  11 min read

Very often, seed scientists need to compare the germination behaviour of different seed populations, e.g., different plant species, or one single plant species submitted to different temperatures, light conditions, priming treatments and so on. How should such a comparison be performed? Let’s take a practical approach and start from an appropriate example: a few years ago, some collegues studied the germination behaviour for seeds of a plant species (Verbascum arcturus, BTW…), in different conditions....

Survival analysis and germination data: an overlooked connection

Published at July 2, 2019 ·  16 min read

The background Seed germination data describe the time until an event of interest occurs. In this sense, they are very similar to survival data, apart from the fact that we deal with a different (and less sad) event: germination instead of death. But, seed germination data are also similar to failure-time data, phenological data, time-to-remission data… the first point is: germination data are time-to-event data. You may wonder: what’s the matter with time-to-event data?...

Some useful equations for nonlinear regression in R

Published at January 8, 2019 ·  21 min read

Introduction Very rarely, biological processes follow linear trends. Just think about how a crop grows, or responds to increasing doses of fertilisers/xenobiotics. Or think about how an herbicide degrades in the soil, or about the germination pattern of a seed population. It is very easy to realise that curvilinear trends are far more common than linear trends. Furthermore, asymptotes and/or inflection points are very common in nature. We can be sure: linear equations in biology are just a way to approximate a response over a very narrow range for the independent variable....