Remotely sensed data are commonly used as predictor variables in spatially explicit models depicting landscape characteristics of interest (response) across broad extents, at relatively fine resolution. To create these models, variables are spatially registered to a known coordinate system and used to link responses with predictor variable values. Inherently, this linking process introduces measurement error into the response and predictors, which in the latter case causes attenuation bias. Through simulations, our findings indicate that the spatial correlation of response and predictor variables and their corresponding spatial registration (co-registration) errors can have a substantial impact on the bias and accuracy of linear models. Additionally, in this study we evaluate spatial aggregation as a mechanism to minimize the impact of co-registration errors, assess the impact of subsampling within the extent of sample units, and provide a technique that can be used to both determine the extent of an observational unit needed to minimize the impact of co-registration and quantify the amount of error potentially introduced into predictive models.
- Spatial correlation