Assessing the impacts of grazing levels on bird density in woodland habitat: a Bayesian approach using expert opinion

Assessing the impacts of grazing levels on bird density in woodland habitat: a Bayesian approach... Many studies on birds focus on the collection of data through an experimental design, suitable for investigation in a classical analysis of variance (ANOVA) framework. Although many findings are confirmed by one or more experts, expert information is rarely used in conjunction with the survey data to enhance the explanatory and predictive power of the model. We explore this neglected aspect of ecological modelling through a study on Australian woodland birds, focusing on the potential impact of different intensities of commercial cattle grazing on bird density in woodland habitat. We examine a number of Bayesian hierarchical random effects models, which cater for overdispersion and a high frequency of zeros in the data using WinBUGS and explore the variation between and within different grazing regimes and species. The impact and value of expert information is investigated through the inclusion of priors that reflect the experience of 20 experts in the field of bird responses to disturbance. Results indicate that expert information moderates the survey data, especially in situations where there are little or no data. When experts agreed, credible intervals for predictions were tightened considerably. When experts failed to agree, results were similar to those evaluated in the absence of expert information. Overall, we found that without expert opinion our knowledge was quite weak. The fact that the survey data is quite consistent, in general, with expert opinion shows that we do know something about birds and grazing and we could learn a lot faster if we used this approach more in ecology, where data are scarce. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmetrics Wiley

Assessing the impacts of grazing levels on bird density in woodland habitat: a Bayesian approach using expert opinion

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/assessing-the-impacts-of-grazing-levels-on-bird-density-in-woodland-7X96veMqUj
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
1180-4009
eISSN
1099-095X
D.O.I.
10.1002/env.732
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many studies on birds focus on the collection of data through an experimental design, suitable for investigation in a classical analysis of variance (ANOVA) framework. Although many findings are confirmed by one or more experts, expert information is rarely used in conjunction with the survey data to enhance the explanatory and predictive power of the model. We explore this neglected aspect of ecological modelling through a study on Australian woodland birds, focusing on the potential impact of different intensities of commercial cattle grazing on bird density in woodland habitat. We examine a number of Bayesian hierarchical random effects models, which cater for overdispersion and a high frequency of zeros in the data using WinBUGS and explore the variation between and within different grazing regimes and species. The impact and value of expert information is investigated through the inclusion of priors that reflect the experience of 20 experts in the field of bird responses to disturbance. Results indicate that expert information moderates the survey data, especially in situations where there are little or no data. When experts agreed, credible intervals for predictions were tightened considerably. When experts failed to agree, results were similar to those evaluated in the absence of expert information. Overall, we found that without expert opinion our knowledge was quite weak. The fact that the survey data is quite consistent, in general, with expert opinion shows that we do know something about birds and grazing and we could learn a lot faster if we used this approach more in ecology, where data are scarce. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

EnvironmetricsWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2005

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off