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Data from: Use of classical bird census transects as spatial replicates for hierarchical modeling of an avian community


Jiménez-Franco, María V. et al. (2019), Data from: Use of classical bird census transects as spatial replicates for hierarchical modeling of an avian community, Dryad, Dataset,


New monitoring programs are often designed with some form of temporal replication to deal with imperfect detection by means of occupancy models. However, classical bird census data from earlier times often lack temporal replication, precluding detection-corrected inferences about occupancy. Historical data have a key role in many ecological studies intended to document range shifts, and so need to be made comparable with present‐day data by accounting for detection probability. We analyze a classical bird census conducted in the region of Murcia (SE Spain) in 1991 and 1992 and propose a solution to estimating detection probability for such historical data when used in a community occupancy model: the spatial replication of subplots nested within larger plots allows estimation of detection probability. In our study, the basic sample units were 1‐km transects, which were considered spatial replicates in two aggregation schemes. We fit two Bayesian multispecies occupancy models, one for each aggregation scheme, and evaluated the linear and quadratic effect of forest cover and temperature, and a linear effect of precipitation on species occupancy probabilities. Using spatial rather than temporal replicates allowed us to obtain individual species occupancy probabilities and species richness accounting for imperfect detection. Species‐specific occupancy and community size decreased with increasing annual mean temperature. Both aggregation schemes yielded estimates of occupancy and detectability that were highly correlated for each species, so in the design of future surveys ecological reasons and cost‐effective sampling designs should be considered to select the most suitable aggregation scheme. In conclusion, the use of spatial replication may often allow historical survey data to be applied formally hierarchical occupancy models and be compared with modern‐day data of the species community to analyze global change process.

Usage Notes


Region of Murcia (SE Spain)