Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sir Ronald Fisher vs. Rev. Bayes -- a comment on Kremen, Williams, and Thorp. 2002. Crop pollination...

A great little PNAS paper from 2002 (Kremen et al. 2002 Crop pollinaiton from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification. PNAS 99:16812-16816). They compared management (organic vs.conventional farms) and isolation from natural habitat (near vs. far), with regard to pollinator visitation rates and efficacy.

This is would be a nice paper for any undergrad class in ecology (nonmajors or majors).

My only issue is very minor: they state that "the effect of isolation from natural habitat appeared potentially to be more important than that of management" and cite a bunch of P-values from pairwise comparisons. I would argue that importance should be judged be effect size (or possible effect size) and definitely NOT based on P-values. Clearly the two are related, and in this case appear consistent with each other. However, confidence intervals, or better yet, credible intervals, would be better.

A totally uninspiring post....

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