Assessing Temporal Trends in Contaminants from Long-term Avian Monitoring Programs: The Influence of Sampling Frequency
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- Hebert, C.E. & Chip Weseloh, D. Ecotoxicology (2003) 12: 141. doi:10.1023/A:1022542408144
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The effect of sampling frequency on the detection of statistically significant temporal trends in egg contaminant levels was examined using data from the Great Lakes Herring Gull Monitoring Program. Decreased identification of statistically significant trends was apparent in the sampling regimes where samples were collected less frequently. When statistically significant declines were observed, sampling at two and four year intervals resulted in the trend being identified later than with annual monitoring. The design of monitoring programs must balance costs and data quality. Programs should ensure that the data collected are adequate to address critical questions.