Pedigree Matrix for Observational Uncertainty Analysis (Ellis
et al., 2000a, 200b).
Score

Statistical
quality

Empirical
quality

Methodological
quality

4

Excellent
fit to a wellknown statistical model (Normal, Lognormal, Binomial etc.) 
Controlled experiments & large sample direct measurements (n > 50). 
Approved
standard in wellestablished discipline. 
3

Good
fit to a reliable statistical model by most fitting tests, but not all 
Historical/field
data, uncontrolled experiments, small sample direct measurements (n < 50) 
Reliable
method, common within discipline 
2

Fitting
tests not significant, model not clearly related to data, or model inferred
from similar data 
Modeled
data, indirect measurements, handbook estimates 
Acceptable
method, but limited consensus on reliability 
1

No
statistical tests or fitting, subjective model 
Educated
guesses, very indirect approximations, "rule of thumb" estimates 
Unproven
methods, questionable reliability 
0

Ignorance
model (Uniform) 
Pure
guesses 
Purely
subjective method 
Ellis, E.C., R.G. Li, L.Z. Yang, X. Cheng, Longterm change in villagescale
ecosystems in China using landscape and statistical methods. Ecological Applications,
10 (4), 2000a, pp. 10571073.
Ellis, E.C., R.G. Li, L.Z. Yang, X. Cheng, Changes in Villagescale nitrogen
storage in China's Tai Lake region. Ecological Applications, 10 (4),
2000b, pp. 10741096.