How does one calculate an error term for multiple population estimates? As an example, you want to test the hypothesis that fish abundance in two different habitat types was statistically different. You picked five samples of each habitat type and performed a depletion/removal estimate in each habitat. For each habitat sampled, you obtain a point population estimate with an associated variance. To compare population abundance among the two habitat types, it is straightforward to take the mean of the five population estimates, but my question is, how do you calculate the error term used in the statistical comparison? Using the variance of the five means would seemingly highly underestimate the true variance around each point estimate of abundance, but I'm unsure of the correct way to essentially take the 'mean' variance of the five individual estimates. It would seem to be a common situation, but have not found a clear answer in stats books I've consulted. Thanks, Tom McMahon Montana St. Univ.Bozeman [log in to unmask]
