Confused about Reporting Sample Size

Confused about Reporting Sample Size

I am a PhD student and am currently working on a statistics assignment and am getting so confused about what my sample size would be. I have to report what my sample size is for my thesis research and now it’s making me doubt all of my research (including two field seasons!!) because I can’t figure out what my sample size is!

My main research questions are 1) How does aquatic bacteria community composition change seasonally 2) How does aquatic bacteria community composition change across a vertical gradient in the water column. All of the work is being performed with 16S DNA sequencing.

I have 5 lakes that I sample from once a month and at each lake I collect 3 replicates from 3 different depths. Each replicate is 1L of water which is then filtered onto sterivex filter.

So I have no idea what my sample size is. I feel like I’m getting too caught up by mixing these two research questions together. I am so confused!!!!!!

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