TY - JOUR

T1 - Diagnosing the uncertainty of taxa relative abundances derived from count data

AU - Heslop, David

AU - De Schepper, Stijn

AU - Proske, Ulrike

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - When working with micropaleontological assemblage data it is necessary to accept that the true population can never be quantified fully. Thus, the investigator must count individuals in the hope of obtaining a representative sample and then determine the uncertainty associated with the taxa relative abundances. Such uncertainties can be obtained by assuming that the relative abundances originate from a multinomial distribution for which a confidence region can be obtained using existing statistical methods. For assemblages containing more than three taxa, however, the determination and representation of multinomial confidence regions become exceedingly cumbersome. Here we outline a simple method that allows diagnostic values of the multinomial confidence region to be calculated for any number of taxa. Examples of such values are the most extreme relative abundances, which allow the user to quantify the interval of a given taxon within the confidence region and the maximum/minimum values of various diversity indices.

AB - When working with micropaleontological assemblage data it is necessary to accept that the true population can never be quantified fully. Thus, the investigator must count individuals in the hope of obtaining a representative sample and then determine the uncertainty associated with the taxa relative abundances. Such uncertainties can be obtained by assuming that the relative abundances originate from a multinomial distribution for which a confidence region can be obtained using existing statistical methods. For assemblages containing more than three taxa, however, the determination and representation of multinomial confidence regions become exceedingly cumbersome. Here we outline a simple method that allows diagnostic values of the multinomial confidence region to be calculated for any number of taxa. Examples of such values are the most extreme relative abundances, which allow the user to quantify the interval of a given taxon within the confidence region and the maximum/minimum values of various diversity indices.

U2 - 10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.01.007

DO - 10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.01.007

M3 - Article

SN - 0377-8398

VL - 79

SP - 114

EP - 120

JO - Marine Micropaleontology

JF - Marine Micropaleontology

IS - 3-4

ER -