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CADDIS Volume 4: Data Analysis

Predicting Environmental Conditions from Biological Observations (PECBO) Appendix


In this section, we examine different statistical methods for inferring environmental conditions at the site if a biological sample is available and if taxon-environment relationships are available.

If single value descriptors (e.g., weighted averages) have been used to characterize taxon-environment relationships, then the only approach that one can use to infer conditions at a new site is by computing the average value of the descriptors for taxa observed at a site. Weighted average inference estimates site conditions as the average of the descriptors of taxa observed at the site.

If entire taxon-environment relationships are available, maximum likelihood inference provides a more powerful and more accurate means of inferring the conditions at a site.

Finally, if taxa have been classified into tolerant and intolerant categories, traditional biological metrics can be used to characterize the site.

Computing Inferences:   Next

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