We show how simple statistical analyses of systematically collected inventory data can be used to provide reliable information about the distribution and habitat associations of rare species. Using an existing design-based sampling grid on which epiphytic macrolichens had been inventoried in the Northwest Forest Plan area of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, we (1) estimate frequencies and standard errors for each of 25 lichen species having special management designation (i.e., Survey and Manage), (2) assess the probability that individual species were associated with specific land allocation and forest stand age classifications, and (3) provide estimates of sample sizes necessary to ensure sufficient detections for these analyses. We conclude with a discussion of management and conservation information needs that extant data can satisfy and identify advantages and limitations of random vs. nonrandom sampling strategies. Combining design-assisted and model-assisted approaches can overcome some of the limitations of either single strategy.
Additional publication details
Assessing rarity of species with low detectability: Lichens in Pacific Northwest forests