Dan Stich, assistant professor in the Biology Department and Biological Field Station at Cooperstown recently published a research article with collaborators at the U.S. Geological Survey New York Water Science Center in Troy, NY.
The USGS project leads and other researchers have been studying fish community recovery from acid rain in the Adirondacks and Catskills for many years. However, naturally high variability in the numbers and types of fish makes it very difficult to detect changes in those systems using common statistical techniques. The focus of this project was to characterize how variable fish assemblage metrics actually are in these montane streams, and to provide information about how metric choice and sampling intensity can influence conclusions about recovery from acid rain.
The approach used is generalizable to a wide variety of ecological questions, and has the potential to be used for saving time and money through a priori study design. The paper was published in the open-access journal Ecological Indicators, and the full-text article is availablehere through the publisher website. Reproducible simulation code is made available through GitHub here.