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
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