Data collection approach and sampling design vary from study to study. Some authors used the approach of random selection of certain number of individuals, e.g. 200-300 individuals in a sample size. This approach could be very biased because the individual and total density vary among samples. Moreover samples with a low total density (e.g. < 50 individuals) are usually excluded from further analyses. This approach may cause serious loss of information that can affect the interpretation of the community pattern and thus paleoenvironmental reconstruction. One way how to overclimb this problem is to use standardized sample sizes according to weight or volume of sediment and stratified sampling design. Primary objectives of the study is to compare standardized sample size approach and stratified sampling design to traditional approach (200-300 randomly selected individ.) and to analyse differences in primary data structure results (diversity, density, species versus volume curve, community pattern) and interpretation of paleoenvironment. The second main purpose is to illustrate and summarize advantages and disadvantages of both methods with the special aim to purpose new unbiased approach. For these analyses most of the samples are proposed from different type of paleoenvironment from Neogene basins of Slovakia. Subsequently this approach enables more precise interpretation of paleoenvironment and more detailed biostratigraphic correlations. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions and maps will be accomplished using GIS.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90925©1999 AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid