Limits...
Accounting for imperfect detection in ecology: a quantitative review.

Kellner KF, Swihart RK - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Among articles that reported detection probability, 70% contained per-survey estimates of detection that were less than 0.5.For articles in which constancy of detection was tested, 86% reported significant variation.We hope that our findings prompt more ecologists to consider carefully the detection process when designing studies and analyzing results, especially for sub-disciplines where incorporation of imperfect detection in study design and analysis so far has been lacking.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Detection in studies of species abundance and distribution is often imperfect. Assuming perfect detection introduces bias into estimation that can weaken inference upon which understanding and policy are based. Despite availability of numerous methods designed to address this assumption, many refereed papers in ecology fail to account for non-detection error. We conducted a quantitative literature review of 537 ecological articles to measure the degree to which studies of different taxa, at various scales, and over time have accounted for imperfect detection. Overall, just 23% of articles accounted for imperfect detection. The probability that an article incorporated imperfect detection increased with time and varied among taxa studied; studies of vertebrates were more likely to incorporate imperfect detection. Among articles that reported detection probability, 70% contained per-survey estimates of detection that were less than 0.5. For articles in which constancy of detection was tested, 86% reported significant variation. We hope that our findings prompt more ecologists to consider carefully the detection process when designing studies and analyzing results, especially for sub-disciplines where incorporation of imperfect detection in study design and analysis so far has been lacking.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean estimated probability (pIID) that an article of a given taxon and year incorporated statistical methods to account for imperfect detection, based on output from the hierarchical logistic regression model.Error bars represent 95% credible intervals around the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4214722&req=5

pone-0111436-g002: Mean estimated probability (pIID) that an article of a given taxon and year incorporated statistical methods to account for imperfect detection, based on output from the hierarchical logistic regression model.Error bars represent 95% credible intervals around the mean.

Mentions: Overall, 23%±1.8 (123/537, mean±standard error) of articles addressed imperfect detection. There was a positive effect of year on pIID (f = 0.99, Table 2): the yearly mean percent of articles that addressed imperfect detection generally increased from 25%±5.9, 14%±4.0, and 23%±4.6 in 1971, 1981, and 1991, respectively, to 29%±5.1 and 35%±5.1 in 2001 and 2011. The same increasing trend over time appeared when taxa were modeled separately, with the exception of fish and plant articles (Figure 2, Table 3). Taxonomic group generally was an important covariate on pIID. Specifically, studies of fish were more likely (f = 0.97) to account for imperfect detection than the average (43%±5.9 of articles for fish vs. 23%±1.8 overall). In contrast, articles focused on plants (f = 0.99) and invertebrates (f = 0.95) were less likely to do so (1.4%±1.3 and 9.0%±2.7, respectively; Table 2). The remaining taxonomic groups (mammals, herpetofauna, and birds) were positively related to pIID, but with a lesser degree of certainty (Table 2). Articles in journals that focused on a single taxon were less likely (f = 0.98) to incorporate imperfect detection than multi-taxa journals.


Accounting for imperfect detection in ecology: a quantitative review.

Kellner KF, Swihart RK - PLoS ONE (2014)

Mean estimated probability (pIID) that an article of a given taxon and year incorporated statistical methods to account for imperfect detection, based on output from the hierarchical logistic regression model.Error bars represent 95% credible intervals around the mean.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4214722&req=5

pone-0111436-g002: Mean estimated probability (pIID) that an article of a given taxon and year incorporated statistical methods to account for imperfect detection, based on output from the hierarchical logistic regression model.Error bars represent 95% credible intervals around the mean.
Mentions: Overall, 23%±1.8 (123/537, mean±standard error) of articles addressed imperfect detection. There was a positive effect of year on pIID (f = 0.99, Table 2): the yearly mean percent of articles that addressed imperfect detection generally increased from 25%±5.9, 14%±4.0, and 23%±4.6 in 1971, 1981, and 1991, respectively, to 29%±5.1 and 35%±5.1 in 2001 and 2011. The same increasing trend over time appeared when taxa were modeled separately, with the exception of fish and plant articles (Figure 2, Table 3). Taxonomic group generally was an important covariate on pIID. Specifically, studies of fish were more likely (f = 0.97) to account for imperfect detection than the average (43%±5.9 of articles for fish vs. 23%±1.8 overall). In contrast, articles focused on plants (f = 0.99) and invertebrates (f = 0.95) were less likely to do so (1.4%±1.3 and 9.0%±2.7, respectively; Table 2). The remaining taxonomic groups (mammals, herpetofauna, and birds) were positively related to pIID, but with a lesser degree of certainty (Table 2). Articles in journals that focused on a single taxon were less likely (f = 0.98) to incorporate imperfect detection than multi-taxa journals.

Bottom Line: Among articles that reported detection probability, 70% contained per-survey estimates of detection that were less than 0.5.For articles in which constancy of detection was tested, 86% reported significant variation.We hope that our findings prompt more ecologists to consider carefully the detection process when designing studies and analyzing results, especially for sub-disciplines where incorporation of imperfect detection in study design and analysis so far has been lacking.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Detection in studies of species abundance and distribution is often imperfect. Assuming perfect detection introduces bias into estimation that can weaken inference upon which understanding and policy are based. Despite availability of numerous methods designed to address this assumption, many refereed papers in ecology fail to account for non-detection error. We conducted a quantitative literature review of 537 ecological articles to measure the degree to which studies of different taxa, at various scales, and over time have accounted for imperfect detection. Overall, just 23% of articles accounted for imperfect detection. The probability that an article incorporated imperfect detection increased with time and varied among taxa studied; studies of vertebrates were more likely to incorporate imperfect detection. Among articles that reported detection probability, 70% contained per-survey estimates of detection that were less than 0.5. For articles in which constancy of detection was tested, 86% reported significant variation. We hope that our findings prompt more ecologists to consider carefully the detection process when designing studies and analyzing results, especially for sub-disciplines where incorporation of imperfect detection in study design and analysis so far has been lacking.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus