Development of new methodologies
All assessments of impacts are made difficult by large natural variations in space and time in the number of animals and plants. Against this very complex natural background, it is important to be able to design appropriate sampling and statistical procedures for reliable detection of unnatural change.
The Centre's research has contributed numerous new and modified sampling designs and analytical procedures to help detect and measure impacts. Particularly important have been analyses of complex impacts through time, the consequences of impacts acting at different and unpredictable spatial scales and the power of sampling programmes, i.e. their likelihood of finding an impact of a particular size. On-going research is developing methods for detecting impacts in multi-species assemblages as part of developing analytical methods to detect changes in coastal biodiversity.