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Experimental design and analysis to investigate predator preferences for prey (letter)

Taplin, R. (2007) Experimental design and analysis to investigate predator preferences for prey (letter). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 344 (1). pp. 116-122.

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Experimental design and statistical analysis of data for predator preferences towards different types of prey have been problematic for several reasons. In addition to fundamental issues concerning the definition of preference, traditional statistical issues such as the appropriateness of statistical distributions such as the Binomial distribution, pseudo-replication, and the appropriate conditioning of probabilities have hindered progress on this important topic in ecology. This paper discusses these issues in the context of the methodology proposed by Underwood and Clarke [Underwood, A.J., Clarke, K.R., 2005. Solving some statistical problems in analyses of experiments on choices of food and on associations with habitat. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 318, 227-237.] in order to provide further clarity concerning the assumptions of this approach and therefore its applicability. In light of the difficulty justifying the validity of these assumptions in practice, an alternative approach is presented which has simpler statistical assumptions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier B.V.
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