Practical Field Ecology - A Project Guide

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    AuteursC. Philip Wheater, Penny A. Cook & James R. Bell
    UitgeverWiley Blackwell
    Afbeeldingen   Foto's, illustraties en tabellen
    Jaar van uitgave  2e druk 2020

    This user-friendly book presents field monitoring skills for both plants and animals, within the context of a research project. This text provides a single resource to take the reader all the way through from the planning stage, into the field, guiding through sampling, organism identification, computer-based data analysis and interpretation, and finally how to present the results to maximise the impact of the work. Logically structured throughout, and revised extensively in the second edition, the book concentrates on the techniques required to design a field-based ecological survey and shows how to execute an appropriate sampling regime. It evaluates appropriate sampling and analytical methods, identifying potential problems associated with various techniques and how to mitigate these.

    The second edition of this popular text has updated reference material and weblinks, increased the number of case studies by 50% to illustrate the use of specific techniques in the field, added over 20% more figures (including 8 colour plates), and made more extensive use of footnotes to provide extra details. Extensions to topics covered in the first edition include additional discussion of: ethical issues; statistical methods (sample size estimation, use of the statistical package R, mixed models); bioindicators, especially for freshwater pollution; seeds, fecundity and population dynamics including static and dynamic life tables; forestry techniques including tree coring and tree mortality calculations; the use of data repositories; writing for a journal and producing poster and oral presentations. In addition, the use of new and emerging technologies has been a particular focus, including mobile apps for environmental monitoring and identification; land cover and GIS; the use of drones including legal frameworks and codes of practice; molecular field techniques including DNA analysis in the field (including eDNA); photo-matching for identifying individuals; camera trapping; modern techniques for detecting and analysing bat echolocation calls; and data storage using the cloud.  

    Divided into six distinct chapters, Practical Field Ecology, 2nd Edition begins at project inception with a chapter on planning—covering health and safety, along with guidance on how to ensure that the sampling and experimental design is suitable for subsequent statistical analysis. Following a chapter dealing with site characterisation and general aspects of species identification, subsequent chapters describe the techniques used to survey and census particular groups of organisms. The final chapters cover analysing, interpreting and presenting data, and writing up the research.

    • Offers a readable and approachable integrated guide devoted to field-based research projects
    • Takes students from the planning stage, into the field, and clearly guides them through organism identification in the laboratory and computer-based data analysis, interpretation and data presentation
    • Includes a chapter on how to write project reports and present findings in a variety of formats to differing audiences

    Aimed at undergraduates taking courses in Ecology, Biology, Geography, and Environmental Science, Practical Field Ecology, 2nd Edition will also benefit postgraduates seeking to support their projects.


    Table of Contents

    List of Tables xiii

    List of Figures xv

    List of Boxes xxi

    List of Case Studies xxiii

    List of Plates xxv

    Preface to the Second Edition xxvii

    Preface to the First Edition xxix

    Acknowledgements xxxi

    About the Companion Website xxxv

    1 Preparation 1

    Choosing a topic for study 2

    Ecological research questions 4

    Monitoring individual species and groups of species 4

    Monitoring species richness 5

    Monitoring population sizes and density 5

    Monitoring community structure 6

    Monitoring behaviour 6

    A note of caution 6

    Creating aims, objectives, and hypotheses 9

    Reviewing the literature 9

    Primary literature 10

    Secondary literature 10

    Other sources of information 11

    Search terms 11

    Reading papers 12

    Practical considerations 12

    Legal aspects 13

    Ethical issues 13

    Health and safety issues 14

    Implementation 16

    Equipment and technical support 19

    Field/laboratory notebook 19

    Pilot studies 21

    Time management 22

    Statistical considerations in project design 24

    Designing and setting up experiments and surveys 26

    Choosing sampling methods 26

    Types of data 27

    Sampling designs 29

    Planning statistical analysis 35

    Describing data 35

    Asking questions about data 36

    Predictive analysis 37

    Multivariate analysis 38

    Examining patterns and structure in communities 39

    Summary 39

    2 Monitoring Site Characteristics 43

    Site selection 43

    Site characterisation 44

    Habitat mapping 44

    Examination of landscape scale 54

    Measuring microclimatic variables 55

    Monitoring substrates 60

    Monitoring water 64

    Other physical attributes 67

    Measuring biological attributes 70

    Identification 76

    3 Sampling Plants and Other Static Organisms 85

    Sampling for static organisms 88

    Seeds, fecundity, and population dynamics 91

    Quadrat sampling 92

    Density estimation using quadrats 95

    Frequency estimation using quadrats 95

    Cover estimation using quadrats 96

    Biomass estimation within quadrats 97

    Quadrat size 99

    Nested quadrats 100

    Placement of quadrats 101

    Quadrat shape 102

    Pin-frames 103

    Transects 104

    Plotless sampling 106

    Distribution of static organisms 109

    Forestry techniques 110

    Tree diameter 110

    Tree basal area 113

    Height of trees 113

    Timber volume 114

    Growth 114

    Canopy cover 115

    Age and mortality 115

    4 Sampling Mobile Organisms 119

    General issues 120

    Distribution of mobile organisms 123

    Direct observation 124

    Behaviour 124

    Indirect methods 130

    Capture techniques 130

    Marking individuals 133

    Radio-Tracking 136

    Population dynamics 138

    Invertebrates 140

    Direct observation 141

    Butterfly census method 141

    Indirect methods 143

    Using insect sounds 143

    Capture techniques 144

    Killing and preserving invertebrates 145

    Marking individuals 145

    Capturing aquatic invertebrates 150

    Netting 152

    Suction sampling 156

    Benthic coring 156

    Drags, dredges, and grabs 157

    Wet extraction 158

    Artificial substrate samplers 159

    Baited traps and refuges 159

    Capturing soil-living invertebrates 161

    Sieving 161

    Floatation and phase-separation 161

    Tullgren funnels and similar methods of dry extraction 162

    Chemical extraction 164

    Electrical extraction 166

    Capturing ground-active invertebrates 167

    Pitfall traps 167

    Suction samplers 175

    Emergence traps 178

    Capturing invertebrates from plants 180

    Pootering 182

    Sweep netting 184

    Beating 185

    Fogging 185

    Capturing airborne invertebrates 187

    Sticky traps 190

    Using attractants 191

    Refuges 194

    Flight interception traps 195

    Light traps 197

    Rotary traps 205

    Water (pan) traps 206

    Fish 208

    Direct observation 210

    Indirect methods 211

    Capture techniques 211

    Nets and traps 212

    Collecting fish larvae 215

    Electrofishing 215

    Marking individuals 215

    Amphibians 218

    Direct observation 221

    Indirect methods 221

    Counting egg masses 221

    Using environmental DNA (eDNA) 222

    Capture techniques 222

    Sampling adults in water 223

    Sampling adults on land 224

    Tadpoles 226

    Juveniles/metamorphs 226

    Marking individuals 226

    Reptiles 228

    Direct observation 228

    Indirect methods 229

    Capture techniques 230

    Hand-capture 232

    Traps 233

    Marking individuals 235

    Birds 236

    Direct observation 237

    Timed species count 239

    Common bird census/breeding bird survey 240

    Point counts 241

    Transect line counts 242

    Distance sampling 242

    Flush counts 244

    Indirect methods 245

    Counting nests at a distance 246

    Bird song 247

    Capture techniques 247

    Mist netting 248

    Propelled nets 250

    Marking individuals 250

    Mammals 253

    Direct observation 254

    Indirect methods 257

    Capture techniques 264

    Marking individuals 272

    5 Analysing and Interpreting Information 275

    Keys to tests 278

    Exploring and describing data 285

    Transforming and screening data 285

    Graphical display of data 288

    Measures of central tendency and sample variability 290

    Spatial and temporal distributions 292

    Population estimation techniques: densities and population sizes 292

    Richness and diversity 297

    Similarity, dissimilarity, and distance coefficients 297

    Recording descriptive statistics 300

    Testing hypotheses using basic statistical tests and simple general linear models 301

    Differences between samples 304

    Relationships between variables 307

    Associations between frequency distributions 312

    More advanced general linear models for predictive analysis 314

    Multiple regression 314

    Analysis of covariance and multivariate analysis of variance 316

    Discriminant function analysis 318

    Generalized linear models 319

    Extensions of the generalized linear model 323

    Extensions of generalized linear models and GAMs into mixed-effects models 324

    Statistical methods to examine pattern and structure in communities: classification, indicator species, and ordination 325

    Classification 325

    Classification techniques when the number of groups is known 326

    Significance testing for group membership: analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) 328

    Classification techniques when the number of groups is unknown 329

    Indicator species analysis 331

    Ordination 332

    Indirect gradient analysis 333

    Comparing ordinations and matrix data 338

    Direct gradient analysis 339

    6 Presenting Information 343

    Written reports 344

    Title 345

    Abstract 345

    Acknowledgements 346

    Contents 346

    Introduction 347

    Methods 347

    Results 348

    Illustrations (Tables, Figures, Plates, Equations, etc.) 349

    Discussion 354

    References 354

    Citing papers 355

    Appendices 358

    Archiving data 359

    Authors’ contributions 359

    Writing style 359

    Tense 362

    Passive tense 362

    Numbers 362

    Abbreviations 363

    Punctuation 364

    Choice of font 365

    Common mistakes 366

    Computer files 368

    Specific guidance for writing for a journal 368

    Specific guidance for preparing a poster 371

    Specific guidance for preparing an oral presentation 376

    Summary 379

    Appendix 1 Glossary of Statistical Terms 381

    References 387

    Index 409




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