In ecology, if the considered area or space is large, the spatial distribution of individuals of a given plant species is never homogeneous; plants form different patches. The homogeneity change in space or in time (in particular, the related change-point problem) is an important research subject in mathematical statistics. In the paper, for a given data system along a straight line, two areas are considered, where the data of each area come from different discrete distributions, with unknown pa…

Read moreIn ecology, if the considered area or space is large, the spatial distribution of individuals of a given plant species is never homogeneous; plants form different patches. The homogeneity change in space or in time (in particular, the related change-point problem) is an important research subject in mathematical statistics. In the paper, for a given data system along a straight line, two areas are considered, where the data of each area come from different discrete distributions, with unknown parameters. In the paper a method is presented for the estimation of the distribution change-point between both areas and an estimate is given for the distributions separated by the obtained change-point. The solution of this problem will be based on the maximum likelihood method. Furthermore, based on an adaptation of the well-known bootstrap resampling, a method for the estimation of the so-called change-interval is also given. The latter approach is very general, since it not only applies in the case of the maximum-likelihood estimation of the change-point, but it can be also used starting from any other change-point estimation known in the ecological literature. The proposed model is validated against typical ecological situations, providing at the same time a verification of the applied algorithms.