Impacts of offshore wind farms on marine fauna are largely unknown. Therefore, one commonly adheres to the precautionary principle, which states that one shall take action to avoid potentially damaging impacts on marine ecosystems, even when full scientific certainty is lacking. We implement this principle by means of a statistical power analysis including spatial factors. Implementation is based on geostatistical simulations, accommodating for zero-inflation in species data. We investigate scenarios in which an impact assessment still has to be carried out. Our results show that the environmental conditions at the time of the survey is the most influential factor on power. This is followed by survey effort and species abundance in the reference situation. Spatial dependence in species numbers at local scales affects power, but its effect is smaller for the scenarios investigated. Our findings can be used to improve effectiveness of the economical investment for monitoring surveys. In addition, unnecessary extra survey effort, and related costs, can be avoided when spatial dependence in species abundance is present and no improvement on power is achieved.
Spatial Factors Affecting Statistical Power in Testing Marine Fauna Displacement
Title: Spatial Factors Affecting Statistical Power in Testing Marine Fauna Displacement
October 01, 2011
Journal: Ecological Applications
Lapeña, B.; Wijnberg, K.; Stein, A.; Hulscher, S. (2011). Spatial Factors Affecting Statistical Power in Testing Marine Fauna Displacement. Ecological Applications, 21(7), 2756-2769.