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Ad hoc instrumentation methods in ecological studies produce highly biased temperature measurements

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology and Evolution, October 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (84th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

Mentioned by

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22 tweeters

Citations

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40 Dimensions

Readers on

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113 Mendeley
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Title
Ad hoc instrumentation methods in ecological studies produce highly biased temperature measurements
Published in
Ecology and Evolution, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/ece3.3499
Pubmed ID
Authors

Adam J. Terando, Elsa Youngsteadt, Emily K. Meineke, Sara G. Prado

Abstract

In light of global climate change, ecological studies increasingly address effects of temperature on organisms and ecosystems. To measure air temperature at biologically relevant scales in the field, ecologists often use small, portable temperature sensors. Sensors must be shielded from solar radiation to provide accurate temperature measurements, but our review of 18 years of ecological literature indicates that shielding practices vary across studies (when reported at all), and that ecologists often invent and construct ad hoc radiation shields without testing their efficacy. We performed two field experiments to examine the accuracy of temperature observations from three commonly used portable data loggers (HOBO Pro, HOBO Pendant, and iButton hygrochron) housed in manufactured Gill shields or ad hoc, custom-fabricated shields constructed from everyday materials such as plastic cups. We installed this sensor array (five replicates of 11 sensor-shield combinations) at weather stations located in open and forested sites. HOBO Pro sensors with Gill shields were the most accurate devices, with a mean absolute error of 0.2°C relative to weather stations at each site. Error in ad hoc shield treatments ranged from 0.8 to 3.0°C, with the largest errors at the open site. We then deployed one replicate of each sensor-shield combination at five sites that varied in the amount of urban impervious surface cover, which presents a further shielding challenge. Bias in sensors paired with ad hoc shields increased by up to 0.7°C for every 10% increase in impervious surface. Our results indicate that, due to variable shielding practices, the ecological literature likely includes highly biased temperature data that cannot be compared directly across studies. If left unaddressed, these errors will hinder efforts to predict biological responses to climate change. We call for greater standardization in how temperature data are recorded in the field, handled in analyses, and reported in publications.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 22 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 113 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 113 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 26 23%
Student > Ph. D. Student 24 21%
Student > Master 20 18%
Student > Bachelor 7 6%
Student > Doctoral Student 5 4%
Other 16 14%
Unknown 15 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 39 35%
Environmental Science 33 29%
Engineering 6 5%
Computer Science 4 4%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 3 3%
Other 6 5%
Unknown 22 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 12. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 December 2021.
All research outputs
#2,260,304
of 20,513,123 outputs
Outputs from Ecology and Evolution
#1,312
of 6,642 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#54,019
of 338,729 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology and Evolution
#52
of 262 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,513,123 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 88th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 6,642 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.7. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 338,729 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 262 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its contemporaries.