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Last Update:
February 11, 2008

Chapter 10 - Quantitative and statistical methods - an introduction.

New books and papers | Websites

Chapter Outline :

    • For statistical data, to be useful, must be collected in an appropriate manner for the type of test that is going to be used;
    • Before setting out to solve a problem, make sure that all the necessary information and techniques are available and that their use and limitations are understood;
    • Planning is very important as is the use of an appropriate test;
    • Where an hypothesis is to be tested, it is very important to make sure that it is the correct one, and that the methodology to be used is robust;
    • The use of a computer program for calculating statistics is often a time saver, provided the data are reliable and the program has been validated;
    • Remember the acronym and adage ‘GIGO’ – garbage in, garbage out;
    • Do not rely upon complex programs to massage your data to produce impressive tables and graphics – if the sampling scheme or data are poor or deficient, the results will be useless.


New books and papers
Author(s) Title (and link) Comment
Magurran Species abundance distributions over time Time is often left out as important when constructing sampling procedures etc. It shouldn't be as it influences the data obtained.
Triantis et al 2006 Re-approaching the small island effect This paper puts forward a simple mathematical model to assess the upper limit of the small island effect.
O'Brien, Robert and Tiandry 2005 Consequences of violating the recapture duration assumption of mark–recapture models: a test using
simulated and empirical data from an endangered tortoise population
Describes the work done to identify and eliminate bias in a popular management sampling technique.
Munzbergova and Ehrlen 2005 How best to collect demographic data for population viability analysis models Outlines how limited sampling time could be best used by adapting an existing technique
Gray et al 2005 The impact of rare species on natural assemblages Species numbers and rarity might be a function of location, scale and collection method instead of ecological property
McCarthy and Parris 2004 Clarifying the effect of toe clipping on frogs with Bayesian statistics. Toe clipping reduces accuracy and is unethical.

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