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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

A sample coordination method to monitor totals of environmental variables

Zhao, Xin; Grafstrom, Anton


A new sampling strategy for design-based environmental monitoring is proposed. It has the potential to produce superior estimators for totals of environmental variables and their changes over time. In the strategy, we combine two concepts known as spatially balanced sampling and coordination of samples. Spatially balanced sampling can provide superior estimators of totals, while coordination of samples over time is often used to improve estimators of change. Compared with reference strategies, we show that the new strategy can improve the precision of the estimators of totals and their change simultaneously. A forest inventory application is used to illustrate the new strategy and the results can be summarized as (i) using auxiliary information to spread the sample can improve the estimators of totals; (ii) a positive coordination of the samples reduced the variance of the estimator of change by more than 37% compared with independent samples; and (iii) a high overlap between successive samples does not guarantee a good estimator of change. The presented strategy can be used to develop more efficient environmental monitoring programs.


positive sample coordination; spatially balanced samples; spatially correlated Poisson sampling

Published in

2020, Volume: 31, number: 6, article number: e2625
Publisher: WILEY