Spatial variogram estimation from temporally aggregated seabird count data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Seabird abundance is an important indicator for assessing impact of human activities on the marine environment. However, data collection at sea is time consuming and surveys are carried out over several consecutive days for efficiency reasons. This study investigates the validity of aggregating those data over time to estimate a spatial variogram that is representative for spatial correlation in species abundance. For this purpose we simulate four-day surveys of seabird count data that contain spatial and temporal correlation arising from temporal changes in the spatial pattern of environmental conditions. Estimates of the aggregated spatial variogram are compared to a variogram that would arise when data were collected over a single day. The study reveals that, under changing environmental conditions over surveys days, aggregating data over a four-day survey increases both the non-spatial variation in the data and the scale of spatial correlation in seabird data. Next, the effect of using an aggregated variogram on the statistical power to test the significance of an impact is investigated. The impact concerns a case of establishing an offshore wind farm resulting in seabird displacement. The study shows that both overestimation and underestimation of statistical power occurs, with power estimates differing up to a factor of two. We conclude that the spatial variation in seabird abundance can be misrepresented by using temporally aggregated data. In impact studies, such misrepresentation can lead to erroneous assessments of the ability to detect impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-375
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental and ecological statistics
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2013

Fingerprint

Variogram
Count Data
variogram
seabird
Spatial Correlation
Statistical Power
Estimate
Temporal Correlation
environmental conditions
Spatial Pattern
wind farm
Count data
Consecutive
marine environment
human activity
spatial variation
Environmental conditions
Spatial correlation
Statistical power

Keywords

  • METIS-282167
  • IR-83314

Cite this

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title = "Spatial variogram estimation from temporally aggregated seabird count data",
abstract = "Seabird abundance is an important indicator for assessing impact of human activities on the marine environment. However, data collection at sea is time consuming and surveys are carried out over several consecutive days for efficiency reasons. This study investigates the validity of aggregating those data over time to estimate a spatial variogram that is representative for spatial correlation in species abundance. For this purpose we simulate four-day surveys of seabird count data that contain spatial and temporal correlation arising from temporal changes in the spatial pattern of environmental conditions. Estimates of the aggregated spatial variogram are compared to a variogram that would arise when data were collected over a single day. The study reveals that, under changing environmental conditions over surveys days, aggregating data over a four-day survey increases both the non-spatial variation in the data and the scale of spatial correlation in seabird data. Next, the effect of using an aggregated variogram on the statistical power to test the significance of an impact is investigated. The impact concerns a case of establishing an offshore wind farm resulting in seabird displacement. The study shows that both overestimation and underestimation of statistical power occurs, with power estimates differing up to a factor of two. We conclude that the spatial variation in seabird abundance can be misrepresented by using temporally aggregated data. In impact studies, such misrepresentation can lead to erroneous assessments of the ability to detect impact.",
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Spatial variogram estimation from temporally aggregated seabird count data. / Perez-Lapena, Blanca; Wijnberg, Kathelijne Mariken; Stein, A.; Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H.

In: Environmental and ecological statistics, Vol. 20, No. 3, 05.02.2013, p. 353-375.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spatial variogram estimation from temporally aggregated seabird count data

AU - Perez-Lapena, Blanca

AU - Wijnberg, Kathelijne Mariken

AU - Stein, A.

AU - Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H.

PY - 2013/2/5

Y1 - 2013/2/5

N2 - Seabird abundance is an important indicator for assessing impact of human activities on the marine environment. However, data collection at sea is time consuming and surveys are carried out over several consecutive days for efficiency reasons. This study investigates the validity of aggregating those data over time to estimate a spatial variogram that is representative for spatial correlation in species abundance. For this purpose we simulate four-day surveys of seabird count data that contain spatial and temporal correlation arising from temporal changes in the spatial pattern of environmental conditions. Estimates of the aggregated spatial variogram are compared to a variogram that would arise when data were collected over a single day. The study reveals that, under changing environmental conditions over surveys days, aggregating data over a four-day survey increases both the non-spatial variation in the data and the scale of spatial correlation in seabird data. Next, the effect of using an aggregated variogram on the statistical power to test the significance of an impact is investigated. The impact concerns a case of establishing an offshore wind farm resulting in seabird displacement. The study shows that both overestimation and underestimation of statistical power occurs, with power estimates differing up to a factor of two. We conclude that the spatial variation in seabird abundance can be misrepresented by using temporally aggregated data. In impact studies, such misrepresentation can lead to erroneous assessments of the ability to detect impact.

AB - Seabird abundance is an important indicator for assessing impact of human activities on the marine environment. However, data collection at sea is time consuming and surveys are carried out over several consecutive days for efficiency reasons. This study investigates the validity of aggregating those data over time to estimate a spatial variogram that is representative for spatial correlation in species abundance. For this purpose we simulate four-day surveys of seabird count data that contain spatial and temporal correlation arising from temporal changes in the spatial pattern of environmental conditions. Estimates of the aggregated spatial variogram are compared to a variogram that would arise when data were collected over a single day. The study reveals that, under changing environmental conditions over surveys days, aggregating data over a four-day survey increases both the non-spatial variation in the data and the scale of spatial correlation in seabird data. Next, the effect of using an aggregated variogram on the statistical power to test the significance of an impact is investigated. The impact concerns a case of establishing an offshore wind farm resulting in seabird displacement. The study shows that both overestimation and underestimation of statistical power occurs, with power estimates differing up to a factor of two. We conclude that the spatial variation in seabird abundance can be misrepresented by using temporally aggregated data. In impact studies, such misrepresentation can lead to erroneous assessments of the ability to detect impact.

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