Current statistical methods are inadequate for evaluation of the relation between spatial pattern of the landscape and observed patterns of habitat use by individuals or populations. For example, traditional habitat selection analysis methods do not use information about the size and distribution of the several patches of each cover type that may exist within the study area. Statistical tests are presented for hypotheses about disproportional use of cover types and patches within cover types. These tests require that use of individual patches is recorded, as well as the size of individual patches. Different designs are considered in which there are (1) single or multiple samples of use, and (2) equal or unequal habitat availability. Formulas for calculating Type II statistical errors of the tests are presented and Monte Carlo simulation is used to assess the accuracy of the formulas and to check the Type I error rates of the proposed test statistics. With adequate sample sizes, Type II error formulas can be a useful tool for planning of habitat selection studies. An example analysis is presented of a hypothetical study of habitat selection by ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in a Midwestern landscape. The proposed tests also represent a contribution toward bringing together concepts of landscape ecology and wildlife habitat selection.
Additional Publication Details
Analysis of habitat selection studies with multiple patches within cover types