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Ecology. 2011 Nov;92(11):2049-55.

On the meta-analysis of response ratios for studies with correlated and multi-group designs.

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Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33620, USA.


A common effect size metric used to quantify the outcome of experiments for ecological meta-analysis is the response ratio (RR): the log proportional change in the means of a treatment and control group. Estimates of the variance of RR are also important for meta-analysis because they serve as weights when effect sizes are averaged and compared. The variance of an effect size is typically a function of sampling error; however, it can also be influenced by study design. Here, I derive new variances and covariances for RR for several often-encountered experimental designs: when the treatment and control means are correlated; when multiple treatments have a common control; when means are based on repeated measures; and when the study has a correlated factorial design, or is multivariate. These developments are useful for improving the quality of data extracted from studies for meta-analysis and help address some of the common challenges meta-analysts face when quantifying a diversity of experimental designs with the response ratio.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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