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Betterments to biodiversity optimal sampling

Author(s): Alessandro Ferrarini

Journal: Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
ISSN 2220-8860

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 246;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: biodiversity proxies | ecological-biological sampling | genetic algorithms | optimization | Shannon's evenness index | spatial autocorrelation

Biodiversity sampling is pivotal in ecology and biology. It is a complex trade-off between the need to sample ecological info, and the need to do it at low effort. In this paper, I propose an improved new solution to this challenge, which takes into account numerous aspects of biodiversity survey activities. There are two outcomes of the proposed algorithm: a) the optimal number of sampling points, and b) their coordinates in the study area. Resulting sampling points can be used for a survey exactly at that points, or as the centroids of linear and plot (areal) samplings. The proposed solution to biodiversity sampling exactly reverses the common use of ecological and biological sampling: first, one should detect the optimal strategy for his case study, then the kind (random, systematic, stratified) of sampling strategy can be a posteriori assessed through proper geostatistical tests applied to the resulting optimal sampling. In other words, I suggest in this paper that the sampling strategy should be the result of an optimization procedure, not an a priori choice. The computational effort for the proposed sampling model is not trivial, nonetheless an optimized sampling strategy is a requirement for successive and successful steps of biodiversity sampling, analysis and preservation.
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