Grassland surveys?

flowerysamAugust 25, 2012


Apologies, I am quite a newbie to botany, however I have started a job which requires some fieldwork, of which I am a complete novice. I read the NVC booklet and other papers and wished to establish species richness and species diversity of a meadowland. I was using 2m quadrats, and quickly realised that counting grass species, even once identified, is pretty hard. I went back to my bosses who seem to think I should just stick with it and count every grass species in 5 quadrats (they are not botany experts either!).

My question is, since the grass species are so mixed up at ground level, how do you tell which is a single plant to count accurately? Is it normal to actually count each plant in a 2m square on grassland, or is there a more common way of estimating species richness and species diversity? I do not wish to appear lazy in front of my supervisors, so if needs be I will go out and count them, but I will seriously question the accuracy of my study. Would not relative frequency/density, or Domin scale be more relevant?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Were it me I think I might start by Googling ~ Grassland survey ~ and look for "methodology" withing the pdf ghits. This may or may not give one an idea of how these things are done.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 1:55PM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

How are you calculating diversity? You don't necessarily need an exact individual count for most diversity indices. An estimate of the percent cover of each species within the quadrats can be used instead and is probably more appropriate when you can't easily count individuals. Also, I have always used a 1-square meter quadrat which I think is easier, just because it's smaller. You would just do more of them.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Thank you for your responses, I will be following a percentage based methodology similar to the NVC guidelines.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 6:20AM
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