Sub: using glmer to fit a mixed-effects model with gamma-distributed

response variable

Hello,

I'm currently trying to fit a mixed effects model , i.e.:

> burnedmodel1.2<-glmer(gpost.f.crwn.length~lg.shigo.av+dbh+leaf.area+

bark.thick.bh+ht.any+ht.alive+(1|site/transect/plot), family=gaussian,

na.action=na.omit, data=rws30.BL)

If I run this code, I get the error below:

Error: length(f1) == length(f2) is not TRUE

In addition: Warning messages:

1: In plot:(transect:site) :

numerical expression has 175 elements: only the first used

2: In plot:(transect:site) :

numerical expression has 175 elements: only the first used

Someone on this forum made the following suggestion,

> rws30.BL$site <- factor(rws30.BL$site)

> rws30.BL$transect <- interaction(rws30.BL$site, rws30.BL$transect, drop =

TRUE)

> rws30.BL$plot <- interaction(rws30.BL$site, rws30.BL$transect,

rws30.BL$plot, drop = TRUE)

Which once run allows the above code to run for a gaussian family. However,

if I try to fit a gamma family model (my goal), i.e.

> burnedmodel1.2<-glmer(gpost.f.crwn.length~lg.shigo.av+dbh+leaf.area+

bark.thick.bh+ht.any+ht.alive+(1|site/transect/plot), family=Gamma,

na.action=na.omit, data=rws30.BL)

I get:

Error: no valid set of coefficients has been found: please supply starting

values

In addition: Warning message:

In log(ifelse(y == 0, 1, y/mu)) : NaNs produced

How do I determine what reasonable starting values are? And what's up with

the NaNs?

Thanks for taking a look.

*Ben Caldwell*

PhD Candidate

University of California, Berkeley

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