Chapter

A Framework for the Design of Plant Diversity Studies

Thomas J. Stohlgren

in Measuring Plant Diversity

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195172331
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790395 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172331.003.0003
 A Framework for the Design of Plant Diversity Studies

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This chapter suggests an experimental approach to vegetation sampling in general, and to plant diversity sampling in particular. It is assumed that most available sampling techniques are like hypotheses that must be proven — proven accurate, precise, complete, and cost-efficient. Only after careful observation, repeated trials, and comparisons with other techniques can the hypotheses (methods) be accepted or rejected. A framework for sampling plant diversity includes initial decisions on goals, objectives, scale, and sampling design. Sampling design is further complicated by decisions on plot size and shape, sample size, intensity of sampling, and pattern of sampling, which interact and affect the results of plant diversity studies. Following the generalized framework that follows may help in planning landscape-scale plant diversity studies, and in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of alternative study designs and field techniques.

Keywords: scale; resolution; extent; precision; accuracy; spatial scale; temporal patterns

Chapter.  8987 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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