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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 2445–2455 | Cite as

A comparison of some population density sampling techniques for biodiversity, conservation, and environmental impact studies

  • Gerald J. Bakus
  • Gregory Nishiyama
  • Eduardo Hajdu
  • Hetal Mehta
  • Mahadi Mohammad
  • Ulisses dos S. Pinheiro
  • Stephen A. Sohn
  • Thaddeus K. Pham
  • Zulfigar bin Yasin
  • Tan Shau-Hwai
  • Abraham Karam
  • Erin Hanan
Original Paper

Abstract

Twelve terrestrial and marine studies were conducted at various sites in Malaysia, Brazil, and the United States between April 1999 and February 2004. These data were analyzed using five density estimate techniques for stationary (non-motile) organisms including Stratified Random Sampling, Point-Center Quarter, Third Nearest Object, Weinberg, and Strong. The Strong method gave the most accurate density estimates of stationary animals and plants. Stratified Random Sampling ranked second best and the Third Nearest Object the third best. Belt or strip transects may be preferable but can be restrictive in some situations because of logistics and associated time constraints. Straight line measurements on reefs were 3–27% more accurate than reef slack line and reef contour measurements. Most study areas measured with the standardized Morisita index of dispersion were moderately aggregated. Results from the Third Nearest Object and Point-Center Quarter techniques indicate that the addition of more data to establish a density correction factor does not necessarily give more accurate estimates of density.

Keywords

Abundance Biodiversity Community analysis Conservation Density Environmental impacts Statistical sampling 

Abbreviations

SRS

Stratified Random Sampling

PCQ

Point-Center Quarter or Point-Quarter

3NO

Point to Third Nearest Object

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the following people for their help in the field: Grace Bakus, Josiane Rocha, Tara Crow, Ryan Canova, students of Dr. Zulfigar in Malaysia (Sazlina Md. Salleh, Siti Zaama Rizal Boss, Yuhana Ubong) and students of Gerald Bakus at Southern Oregon University, Ashland in Oregon (Pete Hill, Andy Mackinnon, Jed Henderson, Levi Kleiber, Allen Zachary, William Burns, Peder Nelson). Mike Cusi (Philippines) and Muhd Hanif b. Hosainel Majidi (Malaysia) identified hard corals for which we are grateful. Fellowships and grants by CNPq and FAPESB for E. Hajdu and U.S. Pinheiro, respectively, are much appreciated. Steve Buckland and William Sutherland kindly reviewed the manuscript and made many valuable suggestions for improvement.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald J. Bakus
    • 1
  • Gregory Nishiyama
    • 1
  • Eduardo Hajdu
    • 2
  • Hetal Mehta
    • 1
  • Mahadi Mohammad
    • 3
  • Ulisses dos S. Pinheiro
    • 4
  • Stephen A. Sohn
    • 1
  • Thaddeus K. Pham
    • 1
  • Zulfigar bin Yasin
    • 3
  • Tan Shau-Hwai
    • 3
  • Abraham Karam
    • 5
  • Erin Hanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de Invertebrados, Museu NacionalUniversidade do BrasilRio de JaneiroBrasil
  3. 3.CEMACSUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia
  4. 4.Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da BahiaJequiéBrazil
  5. 5.Department of BiologySouthern Oregon UniversityAshlandUSA

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