Respectively, Research Aquatic Ecologist, USEPA; Regional Aquatic Ecologist, Dynamac; and Research Aquatic Biologist, USEPA; 200 S.W. 35th St., Corvallis, Oregon 97333 (E-Mail/Paulsen: Paulsen@mail.cor.epa.gov).
CRITICAL ELEMENTS IN DESCRIBING AND UNDERSTANDING OUR NATION'S AQUATIC RESOURCES1
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 34, Issue 5, pages 995–1005, October 1998
How to Cite
Paulsen, S. G., Hughes, R. M. and Larsen, D. P. (1998), CRITICAL ELEMENTS IN DESCRIBING AND UNDERSTANDING OUR NATION'S AQUATIC RESOURCES1. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 34: 995–1005. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1998.tb04148.x
Paper No. 98017 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.Discussions are open until June 1, 1999.
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2007
- survey sampling design;
- biological indicators;
- status and trend estimates;
- aquatic life use;
- lake trophic state;
- coho salmon;
- aquatic ecosystems;
- water quality
ABSTRACT: Despite spending $115 billion per year on environmental actions in the United States, we have only a limited ability to describe the effectiveness of these expenditures. Moreover, after decades of such investments, we cannot accurately describe status and trends in the nation's aquatic ecosystems or even those in specific regions. Why? This situation has arisen in part because we have excluded the fundamental principles of probability designs that are widely used in other fields and we have often ignored direct measures of biota, the subjects of greatest concern. To demonstrate the results of ignoring these powerful statistical and biological tools, we present four case studies. These studies compare estimates of aquatic resource status derived from using (1) a probability-based study design, often with biological measures of condition; and (2) a nonstatistical study design, often using chemical surrogates. In three of the four cases, the results derived from the nonstatistical perspective underestimate the degree of biological degradation.