Assessing the nature and magnitude of human impacts on ecosystems, and understanding natural changes and perturbations, are vital for effective and efficient management. Students in this unit will develop a conceptual framework for understanding and investigating anthropogenic and natural changes in ecosystems. They will also examine critical aspects of the design and implementation of environmental impact assessment and monitoring programs. Finally, they will gain experience with, and expertise in, the major statistical methods, both graphical and hypothesis testing, currently used to analyse ecosystem data, both biological (biotic) and environmental (abiotic). The unit covers the standard univariate (ANOVA) and bivariate (correlation, regression) tools but also examines the rapidly developing array of multivariate methods (cluster analysis, ordination and other, newer, approaches). Freely available software packages, including the R statistical language, are introduced and used.
NO TEXTBOOK REQUIRED
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