Within- and Among-Observer Variation in Measurements of Animal Biometrics and their Influence on Accurate Quantification of Common Biometric-Based Condition Indices

Goodenough, Anne E and Stafford, Richard and Catlin-Groves, Christina L and Smith, Angela L and Hart, Adam G (2010) Within- and Among-Observer Variation in Measurements of Animal Biometrics and their Influence on Accurate Quantification of Common Biometric-Based Condition Indices. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 47 (5). pp. 323-334. ISSN 0003-455X

[img]
Preview
Text
Coversheet Within- and Among-Observer Variation in Measurements of Animal Biometrics.pdf

Download (88kB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text
Within- and Among-Observer Variation in Measurements of Animal Biometrics.pdf - Published Version

Download (293kB) | Preview

Abstract

Research using biometric data relies on consistent measurements within, and often among, observers. However, research into the relative importance of intra- and inter-observer variability is limited. More importantly, the influence of biometric variability on accurate quantification of biometric-based condition indices has not been analysed: it is unclear whether multiple errors become magnified or cancel one another out. Here, we quantify intra- and inter-specific variability in multiple biometrics, and derived condition indices, using museum bird specimens. Inter-observer variability was higher than intra-observer variability for all parameters. Measurement error (ME) varied from < 1% to > 50% for different biometrics. ME was magnified in condition estimates, reaching > 80% within-observers and > 90% among-observers. Significant differences in mean measurements were found for 17% and 67% of biometrics within-and among-observers, respectively; for condition indices, the figures were 50% and 67%, respectively. We discuss the implications of these findings for research into species' ecology, taxonomy and behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Environmental Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Anne Goodenough
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 13:06
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 01:36
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3345

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.