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During rescue excavations carried out near the vicus at Kempraten (municipality of Rapperswil-Jona, St. Gallen, Switzerland) in advance of a private construction project, a Mithraeum measuring approximately 8 by 10 m was unexpectedly discovered in the summer of 2015 and subsequently excavated and investigated in detail. This paper presents the preliminary results of the excavation, which was completed less than a year ago, and pays particular attention to the interdisciplinary approach used in the excavation. These included intense sampling of the features for the purposes of micromorphology and archaeobiology. Three construction phases with intermittent conflagrations were identified. The question as to whether there was an ante-chamber remains unanswered. The external areas are also quite difficult to interpret, at least for the time being. The rich assemblage of finds, which included numerous coins, pottery, animal bones and a range of religious artefacts (e.g. altars and a half relief), will only be dealt with in a cursory manner here. According to the range of coins, the Mithraeum undoubtedly dated from the late 3rd to the late 4th or early 5th centuries. The site will be analysed by an interdisciplinary team and preliminary work is already underway.

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Different sampling strategies are simulated by changing quadrat size, quadrat shape, sample size and the arrangement of quadrats in a tropical rain forest of Hainan (South China). The simulation uses enumeration data of trees, and derived variables such as species richness, species importance, and species population density, to compare the efficiency of the sampling. The results verify that greater sampling efficiency is to be expected using systematic sampling than random sampling. Quadrat size has substantial influence on parameter estimation, but quadrat shape has negligible effect except when the quadrat is extremely long and narrow.

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Aquatic hyphomycetes or Ingoldian fungi are the major decomposers of leaf litter in temperate aquatic ecosystems. Role of leaf litter quality in structuring hyphomycete communities is intensively discussed among hydrobiologists. Therefore, an adequate sampling strategy of the leaf litter is essential in this field. The present paper aims analysing the appropriate sample size of leaf litter with various diversity and evenness combinations taken from streambeds in the temperate deciduous forest zone.Leaf litter in the streambed was sampled at four stream sections of two tributaries of the Morgó stream in the Börzsöny Mts, Hungary. The tributaries differed in water chemistry, altitude and riparian vegetation. To analyse species number-sample size relations, species saturation diagrams were drawn and statistically evaluated.Results showed that: (1) a sample size of 500 leaves sufficiently describes the species composition of leaf litter taken from streambeds in the temperate forest zone, in cases of low diversity forest stands and high diversity forest stands coupled with high evenness; and (2) for forest sites with high diversity coupled with low evenness values a litter sample composed by 800-1000 leaves is advised to investigate to achieve satisfactory estimation of the species composition of leaf litter.The sampling methods described in this paper are proposed for studies where estimation of leaf litter composition is required to understand the available substrate quality for litter decomposing organisms.

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Genetic diversity of 74 T. urartu genotypes was studied using 11 SSR (simple sequence repeats) markers. The number of alleles ranged from 4 to 15, with an average of 8 alleles per primer. The mean values for the expected heterozygosity (He) and polymorphism information content (PIC) over all loci and populations were 0.56 and 0.52, respectively. From a geographic viewpoint the higher diversities were observed in Jordan, followed by Syria and Turkey. Diversity revealed within countries was higher than among them, even in the same regions of the relevant countries. The analysis of molecular variance revealed that most of the genetic variability was accounted for by differences within populations (90%), with less variability among them (10%). The dendrogram generated based on Nei’s dissimilarity matrix revealed three main clusters for which the grouping patterns were not clearly associated with the geographic origins, indicating the gene flow among different countries. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) confirmed subgrouping obtained by cluster analysis. In general, genetic distances between geographic regions were low or moderate, which was also supported by low values of pairwise Fst. Our findings can direct the sampling strategies on T. urartu in studied regions to find beneficial alleles. The heterotic groups detected by cluster and PCoA analysis in the present study can serve as effective candidates in crossing programs to broaden the genetic base in T. urartu.

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The land mollusc faunas of three forest areas of Tuscany (central Italy) were sampled to test the effect of geographical and environmental factors on the structure of biodiversity. A total of 60 sites were surveyed in the years 2009-2011, recording species richness and abundance of snails in 400 m2 plots randomly selected in beech and oak woods. Sampling strategy relied on a combination of visual search and litter analysis. Environmental variables (topsoil pH and altitude) and UTM coordinates were recorded to detect relationships with species richness and number of individuals per plot. Abundance data were analyzed using non-metric multidimensional scaling and canonical correspondence analysis; faunal similarity within and between areas was computed by the Bray Curtis index and snail assemblages of the two forest types were compared. A total of 55 species were recorded, with low values of local richness and abundance per site compared to other forest sites in central and northern Europe. Total richness was similar in the three areas, but composition and local richness varied significantly between them. Geographical factors explained the highest percentage of variance, while habitat type, altitude and pH only accounted for a minor part. Internal similarity was greater than between-area similarity in two out of three areas. Beech forests had richer and more heterogeneous faunas, but lower levels of abundance than oak woods. The results are discussed in terms of historical biogeography and local environmental conditions, and compared with those from similar surveys across Europe.

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Authors: Lennart Bartolitius, Hagen Frickmann, Philipp Warnke, Peter Ottl and Andreas Podbielski

Abstract

A nose model that allows for the comparison of different modes of sample acquisition as well as of nasal swab systems concerning their suitability to detect defined quantities of intranasal microorganisms, and further for training procedures of medical staff, was evaluated.

Based on an imprint of a human nose, a model made of a silicone elastomer was formed. Autoclave stability was assessed. Using an inoculation suspension containing Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, the model was compared with standardized glass plate inoculations. Effects of inoculation time, mode of sampling, and sample storage time were assessed.

The model was stable to 20 autoclaving cycles. There were no differences regarding the optimum coverage from the nose and from glass plates. Optimum sampling time was 1 h after inoculation. Storage time after sampling was of minor relevance for the recovery. Rotating the swab around its own axis while circling the nasal cavity resulted in best sampling results.

The suitability of the assessed nose model for the comparison of sampling strategies and systems was confirmed. Without disadvantages in comparison with sampling from standardized glass plates, the model allows for the assessment of a correct sampling technique due to its anatomically correct shape.

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Even if the establishment of nature reserves is to date a reality and the increase of protected areas is going to grow year after year, monitoring programs aiming to assess the effectiveness of the established protected areas for biodiversity conservation are still needed. That is the case for the Natura 2000 network in Europe, for which monitoring methods and programs are not yet well-established. A probabilistic sampling procedure is proposed and tested for quantifying and monitoring plant species diversity within a local network of protected areas, namely the Natura 2000 network in the Siena Province, Italy. On the basis of a sampling strategy of one 100 m 2 plot randomly located in each 1 km × 1 km cell, four Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) were investigated in 2005. The gradients in species composition at the plot scale were largely related to elevation and forest cover. The species richness values of the four SCIs were compared by means of sample-based rarefaction curves. Then, additive partitioning of species richness was applied to determine the most important spatial components in determining the total species richness of the network. Compositional differences among the plots within each SCI were the most responsible of the total species richness. These methodologies can be adopted for assessing plant species richness within a large region or within a reserve network and, if combined with additive partitioning, they can be used as a set of large scale indicators of species diversity.

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.J. de Gruijter. 1997. Random sampling of geostatistical modelling? Choosing between design-based and model-based sampling strategies for soil (with discussion). Geoderma 80:1-44. Random sampling of geostatistical modelling

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–422. Prokisch, J. et al., 2009. Sampling strategies for testing and evaluation of soil contamination in riparian system at the Tisza River Basin, Hungary. Commun Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 40. 391–406. Simon, M. et al

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