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      Uncertainty and the design of in-situ biodiversity-monitoring programs

      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          There are many techniques to deal with uncertainty when modeling data. However, there are many forms of uncertainty that cannot be dealt with mathematically that have to be taken into account when designing a biodiversity monitoring system. Some of these can be minimized by careful planning and quality control, but others have to be investigated during monitoring, and the scale and methods adjusted when necessary to meet objectives. Sources of uncertainty include uncertainty about stakeholders, who will monitor, what to sample, where to sample, causal relationships, species identifications, detectability, distributions, relationships with remote sensing, biotic concordance, complementarity, validity of stratification, and data quality and management. Failure to take into account any of these sources of uncertainty about how the data will be used can make monitoring nothing more than monitoring for the sake of monitoring, and I make recommendations as to how to reduce uncertainties. Some form of standardization is necessary, despite the multiple sources of uncertainty, and experience from RAPELD and other monitoring schemes indicates that spatial standardization is viable and helps reduce many sources of uncertainty.

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          Most cited references 49

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          ESTIMATING SITE OCCUPANCY RATES WHEN DETECTION PROBABILITIES ARE LESS THAN ONE

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            Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time

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              Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora.

              The vast extent of the Amazon Basin has historically restricted the study of its tree communities to the local and regional scales. Here, we provide empirical data on the commonness, rarity, and richness of lowland tree species across the entire Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia), collected in 1170 tree plots in all major forest types. Extrapolations suggest that Amazonia harbors roughly 16,000 tree species, of which just 227 (1.4%) account for half of all trees. Most of these are habitat specialists and only dominant in one or two regions of the basin. We discuss some implications of the finding that a small group of species--less diverse than the North American tree flora--accounts for half of the world's most diverse tree community.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                October 09 2014
                October 09 2014
                : 8
                : 77-94
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.8.5929
                © 2014

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