## Glossary

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## S |
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## Sampling errorThe degree to which a sample might differ from the population. |

## Sampling methodThe process of selecting some part of a population to observe and to estimate something of interest about the whole population (ex: the abundance of a rare or endangered species in the population might be estimated by the pattern of detections from a sample of sites taken in the study region). These methods assume that each member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected (probability sampling methods). They include simple random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling. Sampling error, which is the degree to which a sample might differ from the population, could be calculated and results are reported plus or minus the sampling error. |

## ScaleThe levels or sizes at which particular ecological entities or processes are considered. One distinction that is often made is between local, regional and biogeographic scales. |

## Scientific dataFacts obtained by making observations and measurements. |

## Scientific hypothesisEducated guesses that attempt to explain scientific observations or scientific laws. It is the first step in the scientific method. |

## Scientific methodThe way scientists gather and evaluate information; it involves observations, hypothesis formulation and testing. |

## Scientific or natural lawsDescription of what scientists find happening in nature repeatedly in the same way without known exceptions. See scientific theories. |

## Scientific theoriesWell-tested and widely accepted explanations of data and laws. |

## Significance testA statistical procedure that when applied to a set of observations results in a probability value (p-value) relative to some hypothesis. Examples: Studentâ€™s t test, Wilcoxonâ€™s test. |

## Simple random samplingIt considers that each member of the population has an equal and known chance of being selected by random sampling. This is mainly true for very large populations. |