Choosing and Using Statistics: A Biologist's Guide 3th by Calvin Dytham

By Calvin Dytham

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Extra resources for Choosing and Using Statistics: A Biologist's Guide 3th (third) edition

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In almost all biological studies it will be impossible to account for every individual in a population. Therefore it is necessary to examine a subgroup of the total population and extrapolate from this to the whole population. The process by which the subgroup of the population is selected is called sampling. g. total population size, mean age or weight). However, this is rarely the case and most populations have distributions that are either random or clumped. In such populations a single sample is unlikely to produce a good estimate of population size or mean height or the variance of leaf thickness.

05mm there will be only a few possible values making it effectively discrete. How accurate do I need to be? It is often possible to use better equipment or become more careful when measuring to increase accuracy. However, increased accuracy will take longer and result in fewer data being collected: another trade-off. As a rule of thumb there should usually be between 30 and 300 possible intervals between the smallest and the largest value. If possible, adjust the accuracy of the measurement accordingly.

Indd 18 47 9/17/2010 6:04:52 PM Choosing a test: a key 19 One or more of the variables has been set (controlled or selected) by the experiment or there is a probable ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ or functional relationship between variables. g. the experiment is looking at the effect of temperature on heart rate in Daphnia. You are expecting that heart rate is affected by temperature but wish to discover the form of the relationship so that predictions can be made). This is a regression type of test. g.

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