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Dependent double-observer method reduces false-positive errors in auditory avian survey data.
Ecol Appl 2019; :e02026EA

Abstract

Bias introduced by detection errors is a well-documented issue for abundance and occupancy estimates of wildlife. Detection errors bias estimates of detection and abundance or occupancy in positive and negative directions, which can produce misleading results. There have been considerable design- and model-based methods to address false-negative errors, or missed detections. However, false-positive errors, or detections of individuals that are absent but counted as present because of misidentifications or double counts, are often assumed to not occur in ecological studies. The dependent double-observer survey method is a design-based approach speculated to reduce false positives because observations have the ability to be confirmed by two observers. However, whether this method reduces false positives compared to single-observer methods has not been empirically tested. We used prairie songbirds as a model system to test if a dependent double-observer method reduced false positives compared to a single-observer method. We used vocalizations of ten species to create auditory simulations and used naive and expert observers to survey these simulations using single-observer and dependent double-observer methods. False-positive rates were significantly lower using the dependent double-observer survey method in both observer groups. Expert observers reported a 3.2% false-positive rate in dependent double-observer surveys and a 9.5% false-positive rate in single-observer surveys, while naive observers reported a 39.1% false-positive rate in dependent double-observer surveys and a 49.1% false-positive rate in single-observer surveys. Misidentification errors arose in all survey scenarios and almost all species combinations. However, expert observers using the dependent double-observer method performed significantly better than other survey scenarios. Given the use of double-observer methods and the accumulating evidence that false positives occur in many survey methods across different taxa, this study is an important step forward in acknowledging and addressing false positives.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA. National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, 800 E Beckwith Avenue, Missoula, Montana, 59801, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA. Animal and Rangeland Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Habitat and Population Evaluation Team, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA.Avian Science Center and Wildlife Biology Program, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, Montana, 59812, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31630467

Citation

Strickfaden, Kaitlyn M., et al. "Dependent Double-observer Method Reduces False-positive Errors in Auditory Avian Survey Data." Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America, 2019, pp. e02026.
Strickfaden KM, Fagre DA, Golding JD, et al. Dependent double-observer method reduces false-positive errors in auditory avian survey data. Ecol Appl. 2019.
Strickfaden, K. M., Fagre, D. A., Golding, J. D., Harrington, A. H., Reintsma, K. M., Tack, J. D., & Dreitz, V. J. (2019). Dependent double-observer method reduces false-positive errors in auditory avian survey data. Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America, pp. e02026. doi:10.1002/eap.2026.
Strickfaden KM, et al. Dependent Double-observer Method Reduces False-positive Errors in Auditory Avian Survey Data. Ecol Appl. 2019 Oct 20;e02026. PubMed PMID: 31630467.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Dependent double-observer method reduces false-positive errors in auditory avian survey data. AU - Strickfaden,Kaitlyn M, AU - Fagre,Danielle A, AU - Golding,Jessie D, AU - Harrington,Alan H, AU - Reintsma,Kaitlyn M, AU - Tack,Jason D, AU - Dreitz,Victoria J, Y1 - 2019/10/20/ PY - 2019/05/09/received PY - 2019/08/27/revised PY - 2019/09/16/accepted PY - 2019/10/21/pubmed PY - 2019/10/21/medline PY - 2019/10/21/entrez KW - abundance surveys KW - avian surveys KW - dependent double-observer method KW - false positive KW - imperfect detection KW - misidentification KW - occupancy surveys KW - point counts SP - e02026 EP - e02026 JF - Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America JO - Ecol Appl N2 - Bias introduced by detection errors is a well-documented issue for abundance and occupancy estimates of wildlife. Detection errors bias estimates of detection and abundance or occupancy in positive and negative directions, which can produce misleading results. There have been considerable design- and model-based methods to address false-negative errors, or missed detections. However, false-positive errors, or detections of individuals that are absent but counted as present because of misidentifications or double counts, are often assumed to not occur in ecological studies. The dependent double-observer survey method is a design-based approach speculated to reduce false positives because observations have the ability to be confirmed by two observers. However, whether this method reduces false positives compared to single-observer methods has not been empirically tested. We used prairie songbirds as a model system to test if a dependent double-observer method reduced false positives compared to a single-observer method. We used vocalizations of ten species to create auditory simulations and used naive and expert observers to survey these simulations using single-observer and dependent double-observer methods. False-positive rates were significantly lower using the dependent double-observer survey method in both observer groups. Expert observers reported a 3.2% false-positive rate in dependent double-observer surveys and a 9.5% false-positive rate in single-observer surveys, while naive observers reported a 39.1% false-positive rate in dependent double-observer surveys and a 49.1% false-positive rate in single-observer surveys. Misidentification errors arose in all survey scenarios and almost all species combinations. However, expert observers using the dependent double-observer method performed significantly better than other survey scenarios. Given the use of double-observer methods and the accumulating evidence that false positives occur in many survey methods across different taxa, this study is an important step forward in acknowledging and addressing false positives. SN - 1051-0761 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31630467/Dependent_double-observer_method_reduces_false_positive_errors_in_auditory_avian_survey_data L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=1051-0761&date=2019&volume=&issue=&spage=e02026 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -