Comparative analysis of insect succession data from Victoria (Australia) using summary statistics versus preceding mean ambient temperature models

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Abstract

Minimum postmortem interval (mPMI) can be estimated with preceding mean ambient temperature models that predict carrion taxon pre-appearance interval. But accuracy has not been compared with using summary statistics (mean ? SD of taxon arrival/departure day, range, 95 CI). This study collected succession data from ten experimental and five control (infrequently sampled) pig carcasses over two summers (n = 2 experimental, n = 1 control per placement date). Linear and exponential preceding mean ambient temperature models for appearance and departure times were constructed for 17 taxa/developmental stages. There was minimal difference in linear or exponential model success, although arrival models were more often significant: 65 of linear arrival (r2 = 0.09-0.79) and exponential arrival models (r2 = 0.05-81.0) were significant, and 35 of linear departure (r2 = 0.0-0.71) and exponential departure models (r2 = 0.0-0.72) were significant. Performance of models and summary statistics for estimating mPMI was compared in two forensic cases. Only summary statistics produced accurate mPMI estimates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404 - 412
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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