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Title: Defining a termite sampling protocol for ecological studies: An effective method to increase statistical power
Authors: Sales Dambros, Cristian de
Morais, José Wellington de
Vasconcellos, Alexandre
Franklin, E.
Issue Date: 2020
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: European Journal of Soil Biology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 96
Abstract: Protocols for sampling soil fauna are usually designed to increase the number of species found when one or a few plots are heavily sampled. However, no previous study has evaluated how the number of plots sampled affect the power of statistical tests associating community composition and the environment. We test the effect of the number of transects (plots) and the sampling effort in each transect on the representation of trophic groups and on the association of termite species composition with environmental variables. Data were collected in 30 250m-long transects located in central Amazonia. Each transect was subdivided into 10 non-contiguous sections of 5 m × 2 m each (separation of 22 m between sections). We rarefied the data to determine arrangement of transects and sections that 1) best characterizes the distribution of species in trophic groups and 2) maximizes the chances to detect true associations between termite species composition and environmental predictor variables. When more than six transects (plots) were sampled with at least five non-contiguous sections each, the distribution of trophic groups was similar to the known distribution for the area. However, the detection of the association between termite species composition and environmental variables was more easily detected by increasing the number of transects sampled (plots) than the sampling effort per transect. Our results suggest that spreading sampling effort into at least 15 transects (plots) improves the ability to detect trophic groups and the performance of regression tests associating the composition of species with the environment. © 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2019.103145
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