Monday, November 9, 2015

The weevil inside you must die!

So I just learned how to do survivorship analysis. I had no idea how flexible they are. I thought they were just for looking at the effect of some treatment on survivorship rates but they can be applied to such things as time until you have your first child, the effect of being on unemployment on getting a job (here, if you are "killed" you get a job), and anything that is modeled in terms of "time to X".

I was given a data set that was weevils placed in different soils and monitored for 8 weeks - most had died at that time. A previous study showed that weevils survived much better in soil with oak matter so we did another test. Not super happy with it and I'll explain after I impress you.

So weevils do survive much better with soil associated with oaks - and white oaks are not very oaky - in terms of the amount of tannins they produce. In soil from under a black walnut the weevil larvae are whacked. 

Significant results!  Yayyyyyyy.

Hold on a moment. Weevil larvae stay in the soil from October until August so why are all ours dead after 8 weeks?  I'd say the whole experiment is amiss. Unless of course, millions go into the soil and only hundreds emerge. Nobody freaking knows. 

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