Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Replicate analyses of OSPAR beach litter data

Replicate surveys of beach litter have seldom been performed in the past. In this study, replicate surveys of beach litter were conducted on the beach north of Hörnum (Sylt, Germany), from 2015 to 2019, applying a slightly modified OSPAR protocol of beach litter monitoring. Descriptive statistics and power analyses were calculated on data resulting from these replicate surveys, to find out whether the scatter of replicate beach litter data decreases and the statistical power increases with increasing numbers of replicate surveys. From 2015 to 2019, mean total abundances, given as numbers of litter items, ranged from 19 to 185 litter items on a 50 m section of beach. With increasing numbers of replicate surveys, the scatter given by the coefficient of variation (CV) significantly increased up to 113%. Statistical power considerably increased with increasing numbers of replicate beach sections, e.g. from 82% (two beach sections) to nearly 100% (five beach sections) for a given reduction of beach litter of 50%. Based on these results from a morphologically straight coastline, the use of replicate surveys would be sensible for the future monitoring of beach litter. However, there is high need for studies, which consider coastlines with varying morphology.


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