Evaluating natural experiments in ecology: using synthetic controls in assessments of remotely-sensed land-treatments

Stephen Fick, Travis Nauman, Colby Brungard & Michael Duniway
Many important ecological phenomena occur on large spatial scales and/or are unplanned and thus do not easily fit within analytical frameworks which rely on randomization, replication, and interspersed a priori controls for statistical comparison. Analyses of such large-scale, natural experiments are common in the health and econometrics literature, where techniques have been developed to derive insight from large, noisy observational datasets. Here, we apply a technique from this literature, synthetic control, to assess landscape change...
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These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?