Annual Review of Entomology (2017) 62, 399-417
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Ecoinformatics (big data) for agricultural entomology: Pitfalls, progress, and promise
Annual Review of Entomology 62, 399-417
Abstract: Ecoinformatics, as defined in this review, is the use of preexisting data sets to address questions in ecology. We provide the first review of ecoinformatics methods in agricultural entomology. Ecoinformatics methods have been used to address the full range of questions studied by agricultural entomologists, enabled by the special opportunities associated with data sets, nearly all of which have been observational, that are larger and more diverse and that embrace larger spatial and temporal scales than most experimental studies do. We argue that ecoinformatics research methods and traditional, experimental research methods have strengths and weaknesses that are largely complementary. We address the important interpretational challenges associated with observational data sets, highlight common pitfalls, and propose some best practices for researchers using these methods. Ecoinformatics methods hold great promise as a vehicle for capitalizing on the explosion of data emanating from farmers, researchers, and the public, as novel sampling and sensing techniques are developed and digital data sharing becomes more widespread.
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