Counting error and the quantitative analysis of phytoplankton communities

Carlos Duarte*, Celia Marrasé, Dolors Vaqué, Marta Estrada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Our results establish formally that phytoplankton counting error decreases with increasing biomass. When combining the individual density estimates to yield a single figure, error propagation introduces great uncertainty around succession and diversity indices. Furthermore, counting error increases the value of succession indices for communities where all species change at the same rate above the expected value of 0. Consequently, conclusions based on the comparison of succession and diversity indices should only be drawn when the uncertainty derived from counting error is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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