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Occupancy modelling : study design and models for data collected along transects

Guillera-Arroita, Gurutzeta (2012) Occupancy modelling : study design and models for data collected along transects. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86472) (KAR id:86472)


Occupancy, defined as the proportion of sites occupied by a species, is a state variable of interest in ecology and conservation. When modelling species occupancy it is crucial to account for the detection process, as most species can remain undetected at sites where present. This is usually achieved by carrying out separate repeat visits to each sampling site but other methods are sometimes used, such as surveying spatial sub-units within each sampling site, or even collecting detection data continuously along a transect, during a single visit. This thesis deals with two aspects of occupancy modelling: (i) we explore issues related to the design of occupancy studies, including the trade-off in survey effort allocation between sites and repeat visits, sample size determination and the impact of sampling with replacement in studies based on spatial replication; and (ii) we develop and evaluate new models to estimate occupancy from species detection data collected along transects, motivated by the analysis of a data set from a Surnatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae survey which followed this type of sampling protocol. The models we propose, which describe the detection process as a continuous point process, can account for clustering and/or abundance-induced heterogeneity in the detection process and represent a step forward with respect to current modelling approaches which involve data discretisation and two-stage ad hoc procedures.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86472
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: occupancy modelling
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:53 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 12:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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