Sampling Strategies

Which techniques is the most efficient in terms of time spent sampling?

The Haphazard sampling technique took the least amount of time, but the difference is very low, at only 14 minutes less than the Systematic Sampling. Random Sampling and Systematic Sampling only differed by one minute.

 

Systematic Sampling

Estimated Sample Time: 12 hours, 38 minutes

Percentage Error Common Species: 10.7% (Eastern Hemlock)

Percentage Error Rare Species: 52.4% (White Pine); 100.0% (Striped Maple)

Random Sampling

Estimated Sample Time: 12 hours, 39 minutes

Percentage Error Common Species: 40.6% (Eastern Hemlock)

Percentage Error Rare Species: 98.8% (White Pine); 100.0% (Striped Maple)

Haphazard Sampling

Estimated Sample Time: 12 hours, 24 minutes

Percentage Error Common Species: 11.0% (Eastern Hemlock)

Percentage Error Rare Species: 98.8% (White Pine); 4.6% (Striped Maple)

 

Most accurate sampling strategy for common and rare species:

As per the most common species, the Systematic Sampling strategy was the most accurate. Haphazard sampling produced only slightly less accurate results. However, Random Sampling had a relatively substantial Percentage Error, at 40.6%.

In regards rare species, all three sampling strategies had lower accuracy, but Systematic Sampling was significantly more accurate than Haphazard and Random. I included the Percentage Error for the second most rare species, Striped Maple, because both the Systematic Sampling and Random Sampling produced samples in which none of these trees were represented, whereas Haphazard Sampling was highly accurate.

Overall, accuracy declined with less abundant species, and Haphazard Sampling provided marginally more accurate results. Since each strategy produced Percentage Error values of 100% (or close to), 24 samples seems an insufficient number for capturing the species and estimating their abundance in this particular community.

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