Vegetation Measurement and Monitoring

Density Learning Objectives

After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Define density and describe situations or applications in which measuring density is appropriate.
  • Describe the kinds of decisions about ground rules (such as defining a counting unit, boundary decisions) that must be determined to measure density.
  • Be able to differentiate between the three main classes of density measurement methods [Abundance classes, Counting (Plot-based), and Distance (Plotless)], and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
  • For counting methods, describe the decision-making process used to select an appropriate size and shape of quadrat for a specific vegetation type, and explain how quadrat selection influences precision of density estimates.
  • Explain the relationship between density and mean area, and how both can be used to express the closeness of plants.
  • Given a small data set, be able to analyze and interpret density data collected with different methods.