Resource Selection By Animals: Statistical Design And Analysis For Field Studies
Resource Selection by Animals: Statistical Design and Analysis for Field Studies
We have written this book as a guide to the design and analysis of field studies of resource selection, concentrating primarily on statistical aspects of the comparison of the use and availability of resources of different types. Our intended audience is field ecologists in general and, in particular, wildlife and fisheries biologists who are attempting to measure the extent to which real animal populations are selective in their choice of food and habitat. As such, we have made no attempt to address those aspects of theoretical ecology that are concerned with how animals might choose their resources if they acted in an optimal manner. The book is based on the concept of a resource selection function (RSF), where this is a function of characteristics measured on resourceunits such that its value for a unit is proportional to the probability of that unit being used. We argue that this concept leads to a unified theory for the analysis and interpretation of data on resource selection and can replace many ad hoc statistical methods that have been used in the past.