Authors: M. Kéry 1 and B. Schmidt
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  • 1 Swiss Ornithological Institute 6204 Sempach Switzerland
  • | 2 Universität Zürich Zoologisches Institut Winterthurerstr. 190 8057 Zürich Switzerland
  • | 3 KARCH Passage Maximilien-de-Meuron 6 2000 Neuchâtel Switzerland
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Biodiversity monitoring is important to identify conservation needs and test the efficacy of management actions. Variants of “abundance” ( N ) are among the most widely monitored quantities, e.g., (true) abundance, number of occupied sites (distribution, occupancy) or species richness. We propose a sampling-based view of monitoring that clearly acknowledges two sampling processes involved when monitoring N . First, measurements from the surveyed sample area are generalized to a larger area, hence the importance of a probability sample. Second, even within sampled areas only a sample of units (individuals, occupied sites, species) is counted owing to imperfect detectability p . If p < 1, counts are random variables and their expectation E ( n ) is related to N via the relationship E ( n ) = N*p . Whenever p < 1, counts vary even under identical conditions and underestimate N , and patterns in counts confound patterns in N with those in p . In addition, part of the population N may be unavailable for detection, e.g., temporarily outside the sampled quadrat, underground or for another reason not exposed to sampling; hence a more general way of describing a count is E ( n ) = N*a*p , where a is availability probability and p detection, given availability. We give two examples of monitoring schemes that highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for availability and detectability. In the Swiss reptile Red List update, the widespread and abundant slow worm ( Anguis fragilis ) was recorded in only 22.1% of all sampled quadrats. Only an analysis that accounted for both availability and detectability gave realistic estimates of the species’ distribution. Among 128 bird species monitored in the Swiss breeding bird survey, detection in occupied 1 km 2 quadrats averaged only 64% and varied tremendously by species (3–99 %); hence observed distributions greatly underestimated range sizes and should not be compared among species. We believe that monitoring design and analyses should properly account for these two sampling processes to enable valid inferences about biodiversity. We argue for a more rigorous approach to both monitoring design and analysis to obtain the best possible information about the state of nature. An explicit recognition of, and proper accounting for, the two sampling processes involved in most monitoring programs will go a long way towards this goal.

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Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Podani, János

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Jordán, Ferenc

Honorary Editor(s): Orlóci, László

Editorial Board

  • Madhur Anand, CAN (forest ecology, computational ecology, and ecological complexity)
  • S. Bagella, ITA (temporal dynamics, including succession, community level patterns of species richness and diversity, experimental studies of plant, animal and microbial communities, plant communities of the Mediterranean)
  • P. Batáry, HUN (landscape ecology, agroecology, ecosystem services)
  • P. A. V. Borges, PRT (community level patterns of species richness and diversity, sampling in theory and practice)
  • A. Davis, GER (supervised learning, multitrophic interactions, food webs, multivariate analysis, ecological statistics, experimental design, fractals, parasitoids, species diversity, community assembly, ticks, biodiversity, climate change, biological networks, cranes, olfactometry, evolution)
  • Z. Elek, HUN (insect ecology, invertebrate conservation, population dynamics, especially of long-term field studies, insect sampling)
  • T. Kalapos, HUN (community level plant ecophysiology, grassland ecology, vegetation-soil relationship)
  • G. M. Kovács, HUN (microbial ecology, plant-fungus interactions, mycorrhizas)
  • W. C. Liu,TWN (community-based ecological theory and modelling issues, temporal dynamics, including succession, trophic interactions, competition, species response to the environment)
  • L. Mucina, AUS (vegetation survey, syntaxonomy, evolutionary community ecology, assembly rules, global vegetation patterns, mediterranean ecology)
  • P. Ódor, HUN (plant communities, bryophyte ecology, numerical methods)
  • F. Rigal, FRA (island biogeography, macroecology, functional diversity, arthropod ecology)
  • D. Rocchini, ITA (biodiversity, multiple scales, spatial scales, species distribution, spatial ecology, remote sensing, ecological informatics, computational ecology)
  • F. Samu, HUN (landscape ecology, biological control, generalist predators, spiders, arthropods, conservation biology, sampling methods)
  • U. Scharler, ZAF (ecological networks, food webs, estuaries, marine, mangroves, stoichiometry, temperate, subtropical)
  • D. Schmera, HUN (aquatic communities, functional diversity, ecological theory)
  • M. Scotti, GER (community-based ecological theory and modelling issues, trophic interactions, competition, species response to the environment, ecological networks)
  • B. Tóthmérész, HUN (biodiversity, soil zoology, spatial models, macroecology, ecological modeling)
  • S. Wollrab, GER (aquatic ecology, food web dynamics, plankton ecology, predator-prey interactions)

 

Advisory Board

  • S. Bartha, HUN
  • S.L. Collins, USA
  • T. Czárán, HUN
  • E. Feoli, ITA
  • N. Kenkel, CAN
  • J. Lepš, CZE
  • S. Mazzoleni, ITA
  • Cs. Moskát, HUN
  • B. Oborny, HUN
  • M.W. Palmer, USA
  • G.P. Patil, USA
  • V. de Patta Pillar, BRA
  • C. Ricotta, ITA
  • Á. Szentesi, HUN

PODANI, JÁNOS
E-mail: podani@ludens.elte.hu


JORDÁN, FERENC
E-mail: jordan.ferenc@gmail.com

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Community Ecology
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2000
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
2
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
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H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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ISSN 1585-8553 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2756 (Online)