Determining the number of members in a biological population is basic in the study of any population. Chapter 3 discussed some principles of sampling. The importance of defining the biological population and choosing an appropriate sampling unit is clear. We have a basic idea of what to do and how to do it. Yet, one extremely important question remains unanswered. How many observations are needed to obtain either estimates with the desired precision, or tests of hypotheses with specified error rates? Much of this book looks at various sampling approaches that help us address this question. In this chapter, we consider both fixed-sample size and sequential methods for estimation of population density for well-defined discrete sampling units. Subsequent chapters discuss alternate methods of density estimation as well as hypothesis testing.
KeywordsStatistical Ecology Sampling Unit Negative Binomial Distribution Colorado Potato Beetle Negative Binomial
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