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Here is my study design:

  • there are four soil plots - A,B,C,D
  • each plot is sampled for soil moisture at 15 locations
  • this soil moisture sampling is done for 10 rain events

I need to compare the soil plots A to D for statistical difference of soil moisture.

First approach - I took an average for each location within the soil plot from all 10 rain events - this left me with 15 averages per soil plot to represent the mean soil moisture at location 1, 2, 3, etc. I ran an ANOVA on this dataset, so comparing plots A,B,C,D, where each plot contains 15 averaged datapoints.

Second approach - I ran an ANOVA using the raw data, so each plot contained 150 data measurements (15 locations within each plot for 10 rain events).

Problem - I get different results using the two approaches - one shows statistical significance and not the other.

Which is the correct approach?

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