#### Abstract

Split plot experimental designs are common in studies of the effects of air pollutants on crop yields. Nonlinear functions such the Weibull function have been used extensively to model the effect of ozone exposure on yield of several crop species. The usual nonlinear regression model, which assumes independent errors, is not appropriate for data from nested or split plot designs in which there is more than one source of random variation. The nonlinear model with variance components combines a nonlinear model for the mean with additive random effects to describe the covariance structure. We propose an estimated generalized least squares (EGLS) method of estimation for this model. The variance components are estimated two ways: by analysis of variance, and by an approximate MINQUE method. These methods are demonstrated and compared with results from ordinary nonlinear least squares for data from the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) program regarding the effects of ozone on soybeans. In this example all methods give similar point estimates of the parameters of the Weibull function. The advantage of estimated generalized least squares is that it produces proper estimates of the variances of the parameters and of estimated yields, which take the covariance structure into account. A computer program that fits the nonlinear model with variance components by the EGLS method is available from the authors.

#### Keywords

Random effects; Variance components; Mixed models

#### Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

#### Recommended Citation

Gumpertz, Marcia L. and Rawlings, John O.
(1990).
"NONLINEAR REGRESSION FOR SPLIT PLOT EXPERIMENTS,"
*Conference on Applied Statistics in Agriculture*.
https://doi.org/10.4148/2475-7772.1441

NONLINEAR REGRESSION FOR SPLIT PLOT EXPERIMENTS

Split plot experimental designs are common in studies of the effects of air pollutants on crop yields. Nonlinear functions such the Weibull function have been used extensively to model the effect of ozone exposure on yield of several crop species. The usual nonlinear regression model, which assumes independent errors, is not appropriate for data from nested or split plot designs in which there is more than one source of random variation. The nonlinear model with variance components combines a nonlinear model for the mean with additive random effects to describe the covariance structure. We propose an estimated generalized least squares (EGLS) method of estimation for this model. The variance components are estimated two ways: by analysis of variance, and by an approximate MINQUE method. These methods are demonstrated and compared with results from ordinary nonlinear least squares for data from the National Crop Loss Assessment Network (NCLAN) program regarding the effects of ozone on soybeans. In this example all methods give similar point estimates of the parameters of the Weibull function. The advantage of estimated generalized least squares is that it produces proper estimates of the variances of the parameters and of estimated yields, which take the covariance structure into account. A computer program that fits the nonlinear model with variance components by the EGLS method is available from the authors.