Wildlife ecology and management studies have been widely criticized for deficiencies in design or analysis. Manipulative experiments--with controls, randomization, and replication in space and time--provide powerful ways of learning about natural systems and establishing causal relationships, but such studies are rare in our field. Observational studies and sample surveys are more common; they also require appropriate design and analysis. More important than the design and analysis of individual studies is metareplication: replication of entire studies. Similar conclusions obtained from studies of the same phenomenon conducted under widely differing conditions will give us greater confidence in the generality of those findings than would any single study, however well designed and executed.
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The importance of replication in wildlife research