I want to do a linear regression for my data but I’m not sure what I need to do with my raw data before running a linear regression. I have counts for species in several forests of differing sizes. I want to compare these counts to percentages of a certain land type within a fixed region around the forest. My worry is that large forests will have large species counts and won’t reflect the land type which is the whole purpose. How can I standardize the count data (is it even standardizing I should be doing?)
You should include an offset term. With count data I'm assuming you're doing some kind of poisson or negative binomial regression.
So, for example, using the formula for a negative binomial regression with a log link:
adding an offset for size of forests makes it
Size gets added in 'raw' it doesn't have a beta. The interpretation is now the expected number of species per unit of size of forest is whatever.