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By Robert A. Gitzen, Joshua J. Millspaugh, Andrew B. Cooper, Daniel S. Licht

To supply necessary and significant info, long term ecological courses have to enforce reliable and effective statistical ways for amassing and examining info. This quantity offers rigorous suggestions on quantitative concerns in tracking, with contributions from international specialists within the box. those specialists have vast adventure in instructing primary and complicated rules and strategies to usual source managers, scientists, and scholars. The chapters current quite a number instruments and methods, together with precise insurance of variance part estimation and quantitative choice between substitute designs; spatially balanced sampling; sampling suggestions integrating layout- and model-based ways; and complex analytical ways resembling hierarchical and structural equation modelling. Making those instruments extra obtainable to ecologists and different tracking practitioners throughout various disciplines, it is a priceless source for any specialist whose paintings bargains with ecological tracking. Supplementary instance software program code is obtainable on-line at www.cambridge.org/9780521191548.

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Extra resources for Design and Analysis of Long-term Ecological Monitoring Studies

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Money is critical – but shouldn’t there be some safeguards against simply spending money because it is available? Because of this, we recommend defining “quality” and “usefulness” by also defining “worthlessness”. In addition to setting the desired level of power or precision needed by the program, also define some hard-line threshold or “floor” for minimum acceptable expected performance. Prior to running any quantitative examination, what is the highest reasonable threshold below which you would say, with confidence, that “if this is the best we can do, we should not even bother collecting data”?

2010)? We suggest the problems 8 Robert A. Gitzen and Joshua J. Millspaugh can be traced at least partially to inadequate knowledge and attitudes of scientists and managers involved in monitoring. Frequent use of non-defensible survey designs in ecology (Anderson 2001) suggests that many scientists and managers either do not understand or have tended to gloss over the importance of carefully, sometimes painfully developing rigorous survey designs to meet defined quantitative objectives. Interest in monitoring has long been high, but this often has been paired with limited knowledge and experience in carefully designing surveys.

The first two possibilities relate to organizational priorities and efficiency, and are not inherently wrong or right. “Any data are better than no data” is the most worrisome. From an exploratory standpoint, there is value in what may turn out to be a 15-year pilot study. However, for addressing specific objectives, too little information or low quality information can produce the wrong conclusion and perhaps a wasted or harmful management response, or lack of response (Chapters 2, 18). Ecological monitoring 7 A sticky issue is that terms such as “suitable accuracy”, “adequately”, and “defensibility” are partially linked to subjective professional judgment.

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