Adaptive survey designs for sampling rare and clustered populations
Designing an efficient large-area survey is a challenge, especially in environmental science when many populations are rare and clustered. Adaptive and unequal probability sampling designs are appealing when populations are rare and clustered because survey effort can be targeted to subareas of high interest. For example, higher density subareas are usually of more interest than lower density areas. Adaptive and unequal probability sampling offer flexibility for designing a long-term survey because they can accommodate changes in survey objectives, changes in underlying environmental habitat, and changes in species-habitat models. There are many different adaptive sampling designs including adaptive cluster sampling, two-phase stratified sampling, two-stage sequential sampling, and complete allocation stratified sampling. Sample efficiency of these designs can be very high compared with simple random sampling. Large gains in efficiency can be made when survey effort is targeted to the subareas of the study site where there are clusters of individuals from the underlying population. These survey methods work by partitioning the study area in some way, into strata, or primary sample units, or in the case of adaptive cluster sampling, into networks. Survey effort is then adaptively allocated to the strata or primary unit where there is some indication of higher species counts. Having smaller, and more numerous, strata improves efficiency because it allows more effective targeting of the adaptive, second-phase survey effort.
SubjectsAdaptive cluster sampling
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