An evaluation of eight methods of botanical analysis on grasslands in Rhodesia.

Published online
11 Jan 1971
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Walker, B. H.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & Zimbabwe


2 grassland sites on the Matopos Research Station in Rhodesia were analysed by 3 different operators using the line intercept, wheel-point, variable plot, quadrat count, point-centred-quarter, angle order, quadrat frequency and dry-weight-rank techniques. Density appeared to have limited ecological value for range research in this type of vegetation. Both distance methods gave rapid, though rather biased, estimates of density. The line intercept is recommended as the best of the cover estimates for this vegetation on the basis of precision and efficiency. Frequency was the only method to provide acceptable estimates of. the importance of all species without the expenditure of excessive amounts of time. The dry-weight-rank method had a number of deficiencies and resulted in excessive variation between operators.-R.B.

Key words