Authier, M and Peron, C and Mante, A and Vidal, P and Gremillet, D, Designing observational biologging studies to assess the causal effect of instrumentation, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 4, (9) pp. 802-810. ISSN 2041-210X (2013) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2013 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution Copyright 2013 British Ecological Society
2. We describe the counterfactual model to causal inference which was implicit in early biologging studies. We adopted methods developed in social and political sciences to construct a posteriori an appropriate control group. Using biologging data collected on Scopoliís shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea) from a small Mediterranean island, we used this method to achieve objective causal inference on the effect of instrumentation on breeding performance and divorce.
3. Our method revealed that the sample of instrumented birds was nonrandom. After identification of a relevant control group, we found no carry-over effects of instrumentation on breeding performance (taking into account imperfect detection probability) or divorce rate in Scopoliís shearwaters.
4. Randomly chosen control groups can be both counterproductive and ethically dubious via unnecessary additional disturbance of populations. The counterfactual approach, which can correct for selection bias, has wide applicability to biologging within long-term studies.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Research Division:||Biological Sciences|
|Research Field:||Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)|
|Objective Division:||Expanding Knowledge|
|Objective Group:||Expanding knowledge|
|Objective Field:||Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences|
|UTAS Author:||Peron, C (Dr Clara Peron)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||7|
|Deposited By:||Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration|
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