Subsampling hair samples affects accuracy and precision of DNA-based population estimates

Brian P. Dreher, Guilherme J.M. Rosa, Paul M. Lukacs, Kim T. Scribner, Scott R. Winterstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Variance in population estimates is affected by the number of samples that are chosen to genotype when multiple samples are available during a sampling period. Using genetic data obtained from noninvasive hair-snags used to sample black bears (Ursus americanus) in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, USA, we developed a bootstrapping simulation to determine how precision of population estimates varied based on the number of samples genotyped. Improvements in precision of population estimates were not monotonic over all samples sizes available for genotyping. Estimates of cost, both financially and in terms of bias associated with increasing genotyping error and benefits in terms of greater estimate precision, will vary by species and field conditions and should be determined empirically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1188
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Michigan
  • Ursus americanus
  • black bear
  • genotyping error
  • markrecapture
  • microsatellite
  • noninvasive sampling
  • population estimation
  • subsampling


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