Subsampling Reduces Sorting Effort for Waterfowl Foods in Salt-Marsh Core Samples

Author(s)Livolsi, Mark C.
Author(s)Ringelman, Kevin M.
Author(s)Williams, Christopher K.
Date Accessioned2023-11-10T19:40:58Z
Date Available2023-11-10T19:40:58Z
Publication Date2014-07-23
DescriptionThis article was originally published in Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. The version of record is available at:
AbstractWaterfowl researchers often use soil core samples to estimate food availability in foraging habitats, and these estimates are needed for bioenergetic models of carrying capacity. However, core sampling is frequently a time- and resource-intensive process, and some researchers have suggested that subsampling may be a valuable way to reduce processing time. We evaluated whether 10% and 25% by mass subsampling are appropriate techniques for reducing core-sorting effort while maintaining precision for samples taken in six separate habitat types along the Delaware bayshore. We found no significant difference between biomass found in 100% sorted cores and estimated biomass obtained by 10% and 25% subsampling. We found that 10% subsampling offered the greatest time savings, reducing mean sorting times by 77% (from 13.7 hours to 3.3 hours) from 100% sorted cores. We recommend that researchers consider subsampling to reduce core-sorting effort and cost, particularly when processing large numbers of cores.
SponsorThis study was funded by Ducks Unlimited, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish and Wildlife through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, Waterfowl Research Foundation, Camp Fire Conservation Fund, and the University of Delaware. We thank J. Coluccy, M. DiBona and J. Buler for their insights regarding our experimental design, and the numerous technicians who assisted in collecting and sorting samples. We also thank Heath Hagy, an anonymous reviewer, and the Subject Editor for their constructive feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
CitationMark C. Livolsi, Kevin M. Ringelman, Christopher K. Williams; Subsampling Reduces Sorting Effort for Waterfowl Foods in Salt-Marsh Core Samples. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 1 December 2014; 5 (2): 380–386. doi:
PublisherJournal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Keywordscarrying capacity
Keywordscore sample
Keywordsfood availability
Keywordsmoist-soil seed
Keywordslife on land
TitleSubsampling Reduces Sorting Effort for Waterfowl Foods in Salt-Marsh Core Samples
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