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Measuring Plant DiversityLessons from the Field$
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Thomas J. Stohlgren

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172331.001.0001

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A Framework for the Design of Plant Diversity Studies

A Framework for the Design of Plant Diversity Studies

(p.46) 3 A Framework for the Design of Plant Diversity Studies
Measuring Plant Diversity

Thomas J. Stohlgren

Oxford University Press

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

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