Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blunt boars

Have spent a week in southern Sweden in the region of Småland and to my surprise the boars have been very unshy recently. The neighbor found first one boar eating from his birdhouse in the garden during broad daylight. Later he found two boars in his garage. It is almost unnecessary to mention that of course his field has received some serious plowing by the boars.

This male boar passed by my house 6 in the evening.
It is a fairly big male boar.

Considering that boars were extremely rare 20 years ago in this area, it has now become a very different situation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some kind of monster

Sitting up late working with a manuscript about peatland restoration that will be submitted before summer hopefully. The project started out with one folder and one excel sheet, but now it consists of dozens of excel sheets, word documents, R-files, Canoco-files, and several image files of graphs that during some part of the project have been considered as potential candidates to include. What was one folder, is now a giant matrix of folders and subfolders that is becoming increasingly harder to navigate. A sign that it is time to finish this project.

A pseudo issue?

Which experiment is best? An experiment were mowing is tested on 20 plots with the size of 1 square meter, or an experiment were 2 fields of 1 ha each are mown and have 50 plots each. From a restoration point of view the small plot case is lacking a lot of relevance to restoration, since the area is small and you will have edge effects. On the other hand, this is the case were you have real replicates. Many restoration papers go for the second approach were the situation is more comparable to real restoration. However, in a review the likely comment of “pseudo replication” is sure to come, even if the reviewer himself/herself thinks the chosen experimental layout is the best. The term pseudo replication was popularized by Hurlbert 1984, in a paper were he discussed the massive use of pseudo replication in published papers.

In a paper were he discussed the abuse of pseudo replication accusations Hoksanen used the term pseudo issue about automatic use of the pseudo replication argument (Hoksanen 2001).

Pseudo replication means that the samples are repeated, but the treatments are not. They can sometimes be repeated in the number of 2 or 3 but it is to few to make the detection of significant results impossible. Most restoration papers will therefore take a lot of samples in a large field were the restoration treatment is repeated once or twice, and claim that they have for example 100 replicates. And this is indeed pseudoreplication.

There is no easy way out of this problem, and perhaps it serves to highlight the use of meta-analysis were the outcome of many cases are analyzed. Unfortunately then there is the problem of bias towards positive results among published papers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

First post

I am a graduate student in restoration ecology working on restoration of peatlands.
My research focuses on peatland restoration from a functional trait point of view.
I am also very much engaged in discussions concerning sustainability and conservation, and this blogg will describe both events in the daily life of my research, as well as comments on current topics within sustainability and conservation.