Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Prediction of sample size effects on the measured temporal and geographic distribution patterns of species

  • Carl F. Koch (a1)

Abstract

Few paleontological studies of species distribution in time and space have adequately considered the effects of sample size. Most species occur very infrequently, and therefore sample size effects may be large relative to the faunal patterns reported. Examination of 10 carefully compiled large data sets (each more than 1,000 occurrences) reveals that the species-occurrence frequency distribution of each fits the log series distribution well and therefore sample size effects can be predicted. Results show that, if the materials used in assembling a large data set are resampled, as many as 25% of the species will not be found a second time even if both samples are of the same size. If the two samples are of unequal size, then the larger sample may have as many as 70% unique species and the smaller sample no unique species. The implications of these values are important to studies of species richness, origination, and extinction patterns, and biogeographic phenomena such as endemism or province boundaries. I provide graphs showing the predicted sample size effects for a range of data set size, species richness, and relative data size. For data sets that do not fit the log series distribution well, I provide example calculations and equations which are usable without a large computer. If these graphs or equations are not used, then I suggest that species which occur infrequently be eliminated from consideration. Studies in which sample size effects are not considered should include sample size information in sufficient detail that other workers might make their own evaluation of observed faunal patterns.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Buzas, M. A. 1972. Patterns of species diversity and their explanation. Taxon. 21:275286.
Buzas, M. A., Koch, C. F., Culver, S. J., and Sohl, N. F. 1982. On the distribution of species occurrence. Paleobiology. 8:142150.
Durham, J. W. 1967. The incompleteness of our knowledge of the fossil record. J. Paleontol. 51:559564.
Fisher, R. A., Corbet, A. S., and Williams, C. B. 1943. The relation between the number of species and the number of individuals in a random sample of an animal population. J. Anim. Ecol. 12:4258.
Hansen, T. A. 1984. Bivalve extinction patterns in the Late Eocene and Oliogocene of the Gulf Coast: relationship to temperature drops and changes in shelf area. Geol. Soc. Am. Abstr. Progr. 16:523.
Henderson, R. A. and Heron, M. I. 1977. A probabilistic method of paleobiogeographic analysis. Lethaia. 10:115.
Jablonski, D. 1980. Apparent versus real biotic effects of transgressions and regressions. Paleobiology. 6:397407.
Kauffman, E. G. and Scott, R. W. 1976. Basic concepts of community ecology and paleoecology. Pp. 128. In: Scott, R. W. and West, R. R., eds. Structure and Classification of Paleocommunities. Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Inc.; Stroudsburg, Pa.
Koch, C. F. 1977. Evolutionary and ecological patterns of Upper Cenomanian (Cretaceous) mollusc distribution in the Western Interior of North America. Ph.D. diss., George Washington Univ.
Koch, C. F. and Sohl, N. F. 1983. Paleontological studies of a large Upper Cretaceous mollusc data set. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abstr. Progr. 15:616.
Koch, C. F. and Sohl, N. F.In press. Distributional Patterns of Maestrichtian Molluusc Species in the United States Coastal Province. Proceedings of the IX Congresso Brasilieiro de Paleontologica, Fortaleza, Brazil, September 1985.
Raup, D. M. 1972. Taxonomic diversity during the Phanerozoic. Science. 177:10651071.
Raup, D. M. 1975. Taxonomic diversity estimation using rarefaction. Paleobiology. 1:333342.
Raup, D. M. and Crick, R. E. 1979. Measurement of faunal similarity in paleontology. J. Paleontol. 53:12131227.
Sheehan, P. M. 1977. Species diversity in the Phanerozoic: a reflection of labor by systematists? Paleobiology. 3:325328.
Signor, P. W. III. 1982. Species richness in the Phanerozoic: compensating for sampling bias. Geology. 10:625628.
Sohl, N. F. and Koch, C. F. 1983. Upper Cretaceous (Maestrichtian) molluscs from the Haustator bilira Assemblage Zone in the East Gulf Coastal Plain, U.S. Geol. Surv. Open File Rpt. No. 83–451. 339 pp.
Sohl, N. F. and Koch, C. F. 1984. Upper Cretaceous (Maestrichtian) Mollusca from the Haustator bilira Assemblage Zone in the West Gulf Coastal Plain. U.S. Geol. Surv. Open File Rpt. No. 84–687. 271 pp.
Sohl, N. F. and Koch, C. F.In press. Upper Cretaceous (Maestrichtian) larger invertebrates form the Haustator bilira Assemblage Zone in the Atlantic Coastal Plain with further data from the East Gulf, U.S. Geol. Surv. Open File Rpt. 172 pp.
Tipper, J. C. 1979. Rarefaction and rarefiction: the use and abuse of a method in paleoecology. Paleobiology. 5:423434.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Paleobiology
  • ISSN: 0094-8373
  • EISSN: 1938-5331
  • URL: /core/journals/paleobiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed