Demdromorphometrist wanna meet Waloddi Weibull

(Dendromorphometry: The sampled measuring of forest trees usually to estimate total forest wood volume.)

Hi, Can anyone here give me a primer on the "Weibull distribution"? I know it can be used for estimating the failure rate of things like machine parts. I'm thinking it could also be used to estimate the failure (mortality) rate of forest trees based on species, forest, soils, climate, etc.

I have been unable to find anything readable about Weibull, only a couple of books with pages and pages of mathematics - essentially useless to the common forest practitioner. Is there a "Weibull for Dummies" out there? Anybody?


Omega Contributor
Note: Weibull is commonly used in proportional hazard regression in health care data, specially with the outcome of mortality.

What is the question you are wanting to possibly apply the distribution toward? I would wonder if there are possible issues: with people in a sample from a population not being the same thing as trees from a sample from a forest. In particular, people can be independent of each other but trees may have a covariance structure since they are competing for resources. Hope that makes senses.
Dason: I want to know if I can ultimately predict longevity of a certain species of tree based on species, soil, etc. e.g. taking core samples of snags (standing dead) and counting their growth rings.

hlsmith: Good point; forest trees do compete for resources. Does my answer to Dason help?
I am sorry but you can't meet Waloddi Weibull since he is no longer with us. But Waloddi Weibull was not a statistician but an engineer. But i have actually met a great relative of him, the statistician Christer Weibull.

If you search for the Weibull distribution you will find a lot.