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Research article2017Peer reviewed

Sampling designs for contaminant temporal trend analyses using sedentary species exemplified by the snails Bellamya aeruginosa and Viviparus viviparus

Yin, Ge; Danielsson, Sara; Dahlberg, Anna-Karin; Zhou, Yihui; Qiu, Yanling; Nyberg, Elisabeth; Bignert, Anders


Environmental monitoring typically assumes samples and sampling activities to be representative of the population being studied. Given a limited budget, an appropriate sampling strategy is essential to support detecting temporal trends of contaminants. In the present study, based on real chemical analysis data on polybrominated diphenyl ethers in snails collected from five subsites in Tianmu Lake, computer simulation is performed to evaluate three sampling strategies by the estimation of required sample size, to reach a detection of an annual change of 5% with a statistical power of 80% and 90% with a significant level of 5%. The results showed that sampling from an arbitrarily selected sampling spot is the worst strategy, requiring much more individual analyses to achieve the above mentioned criteria compared with the other two approaches. A fixed sampling site requires the lowest sample size but may not be representative for the intended study object e.g. a lake and is also sensitive to changes of that particular sampling site. In contrast, sampling at multiple sites along the shore each year, and using pooled samples when the cost to collect and prepare individual specimens are much lower than the cost for chemical analysis, would be the most robust and cost efficient strategy in the long run. Using statistical power as criterion, the results demonstrated quantitatively the consequences of various sampling strategies, and could guide users with respect of required sample sizes depending on sampling design for long term monitoring programs. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sampling design; Convenience sampling; Statistical power; Temporal trend assessment; Organic contaminants; Benthic organisms

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2017, Volume: 185, pages: 431-438

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    Other Chemistry Topics

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