Biostatistical Analysis

Jerrold H. Zar  
Total pages
July 2013
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Biostatistical Analysis


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Zar’s Biostatistical Analysis, Fifth Edition, is the ideal textbook for graduate and undergraduate students seeking practical coverage of statistical analysis methods used by researchers to collect, summarise, analyse and draw conclusions from biological research. The latest edition of this best-selling textbook is both comprehensive and easy to read. It is suitable as an introduction for beginning students and as a comprehensive reference book for biological researchers and for advanced students.

This book is appropriate for a one- or two-semester, junior or graduate-level course in biostatistics, biometry, quantitative biology, or statistics, and assumes a prerequisite of algebra.


  • A broad collection of data-analysis procedures and techniques are presented, covering a wide variety of biological research, such as physiology, genetics, ecology, behavior, morphology.
  • The most comprehensive treatment available includes coverage of the basics of statistical analysis, and also the following topics rarely or never found in statistics books for biologists:
    • Diversity
    • Polynomial regression
    • Multidimensional contingency tables
    • Stepwise regression
    • Nonparametric multiple comparisons
    • Higher order factorial analyses of variance
    • Circular distributions
    • Power and sample size determinations.
  • An orderly organisation and presentation of topics, with cross-referencing as appropriate.
  • The readable and accessible approach allows students with no previous statistical background or mathematical expertise beyond simple algebra to understand the material presented.
  • The thoughtful presentation encourages students to think about the value of each statistical technique, as opposed to merely plugging numbers into formulae.
  • The exposition considers complex procedures such as factorial analysis of variance and multiple regression in terms of the interpretation of typical computer output.
  • A wealth of graphs and other figures are integrated to visually support concepts under discussion.
  • A uniquely comprehensive set of statistical tables–more than 40 in all–facilitates statistical analyses without having to consult a separate book. This includes tables that are unique to this book.
  • Worked examples for all major procedures guide readers step-by-step through the techniques, demonstrating each of the important concepts.
  • An extensive bibliography directs readers to further relevant literature.

New to this Edition

This edition includes revised, updated, or enhanced coverage of the following topics.

  • Normal distribution
  • Testing for normality
  • Power in statistical hypothesis testing
  • The underlying assumptions, and their violation, in parametric and nonparametric testing
  • A new introduction of prediction limits and one-tailed confidence limits
  • Analysis of variance
  • Comparing variances
  • Multiple-comparison testing, emphasizing the most highly regarded procedures
  • Randomized-block, repeated-measures, and multivariate analysis of variance
  • Simple and multiple linear regression and correlation
  • Kolmogorov-Smirnov goodness-for-fit testing for ordinal data, both two-tailed and one-tailed, continuous and discrete
  • Contingency-table analysis by chi-square and the Fisher Exact Test
  • The use of binomial distribution

Table of Contents

  • 1. Data: Types and Presentations
  • 2. Populations and Samples
  • 3. Measures of Central Tendency
  • 4. Measures of Variability and Dispersion
  • 5. Probabilities
  • 6. The Normal Distribution
  • 7. One-Sample Hypotheses
  • 8. Two-Sample Hypotheses
  • 9. Paired-Sample Hypotheses
  • 10. Multisample Hypotheses and the Analysis of Variance
  • 11. Multiple Comparisons
  • 12. Two-Factor Analysis of Variance
  • 13. Data Transformations
  • 14. Multiway Factorial Analysis of Variance
  • 15. Nested (Hierarchical) Analysis of Variance
  • 16. Multivariate Analysis of Variance
  • 17. Simple Linear Regression
  • 18. Comparing Simple Linear Regression Equations
  • 19. Simple Linear Correlation
  • 20. Multiple Regression and Correlation
  • 21. Polynomial Regression
  • 22. Testing for Goodness of Fit
  • 23. Contingency Tables
  • 24. Dichotomous Variables
  • 25. Testing for Randomness
  • 26. Circular Distributions: Descriptive Statistics
  • 27. Circular Distributions: Hypothesis Testing
  • Answers to Exercises
  • Literature Cited
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index



Jerrold H. Zar received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Northern Illinois University in 1962. He later earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biology and zoology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Zar then returned to Northern Illinois University for 34 years to serve in a variety of capacities. He joined the faculty at NIU as an Assistant Professor in 1968 and quickly rose through the ranks of associate and full professor to become Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in 1978. He served two terms as Chair of the Department and then, became the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research and Dean of the Graduate School. He was a founder of the Illinois Minority Graduate Incentive Program and the Illinois Consortium for Educational Opportunities Program, where he helped create and protect fellowship opportunities for minority graduate students at universities across the state. Zar is a member of 17 professional scientific societies, including being an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His many research publications cover a range of topics, from statistical analysis to physiological adaptations of animals to their environment.