Random and Non-Random Sampling

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  • Sampling
    • Random
      • Sample sites are generated randomly using a random number generator
      • Advantages
        • Data will be unbiased
      • Disadvantages
        • May not cover all areas of the habitat equally
    • Non-Random
      • opportunistic
        • Researcher has made sampling decisions based on prior knowledge
        • Advantages
          • easier and quicker than non random sampling
        • Disadvantages
          • Data may be biased
      • Stratified
        • Advantages
          • Ensures that all species are not underrepresented as different areas are sampled
        • Disadvantages
          • May lead to over representation of a species
        • Divide habitat into sections that are different
      • Systenatic
        • Samples are taken at fixed intervals e.g belt transects and line transects
        • Advantages
          • Useful when a habitat shows an environmental gradient
        • Disadvantages
          • Species may be missed as the species that are on a line or belt transect will be recorded

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