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I'm modifying my ecology paper according to what the reviewers suggested but I have an issue with one statistical-related question. I ran a GLMM in lme4 on R to model the presence/absence of a certain plant. One reviewer is asking me to report the marginal and conditional error explained by the fixed and random effects. What does that mean and how can I extract them?

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  • $\begingroup$ I've never heard of marginal or conditional errors. Are you sure they are not asking for marginal and conditional estimates ?? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 9:22

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I suspect that there has been a misunderstanding or a typo.

In GLMMs the fixed effects estimate are conditional on the random effects. That is, the estimates apply to units in the same subject/cluster/group. They cannot be interpreted as an average over all subjects/clusters/groups. The latter would be marginal estimates, while the former are conditional.

In R, the GLMMadaptive package can produce both, so this is one approach you can take. Another approach is to fit a generalised estimating equations (GEE) model, which will produce marginal estimates.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question ? If so, please consider marking it as the accepted answer, or if not please let us know why so that it can be improved. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 18:38

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