Levels of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) are commonly assessed using a modified garden rake. However, the utility of the rake sampling method relative to methods that are typically viewed as more definitive (and expensive) such as snorkeling and coring remains a matter of debate. This study explores whether probabilities of species detections for four SAV species varied among sampling units in a rake-biomass study and, if so, whether such variation reflected variation in species abundance. Variation in detection probabilities, when unaddressed, may yield biased estimators of percent frequency of occurrence (“occupancy”) and of occurrence-habitat associations. Biomass-driven variation in detection probabilities is important because such variation may not be explainable using covariates typically measured when sampling using the rake method. This study found substantial among-unit variation in detection probabilities, with majorities of that variation on the logit or modeling scale being associated with biomass but not with the non-biomass covariates substrate type, water depth and day of study. The study closes by exploring sampling protocols and modeling methods that may yield improved SAV occupancy estimates.
|Title||Probabilities of detecting submersed aquatic vegetation species using a rake method may vary with biomass|
|Authors||Brian R. Gray|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Aquatic Botany|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center|