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Line Transect Method

A transect line can be made using a nylon rope marked and numbered at 0.5m, or 1m intervals, all the way along its length. This is laid across the area you wish to study. The position of the transect line is very important and it depends on the direction of the environmental gradient you wish to study. It should be thought about carefully before it is placed. You may otherwise end up without clear results because the line has been wrongly placed.

A line transect is carried out by unrolling the transect line along the gradient identified. The species touching the line may be recorded along the whole length of the line (continuous sampling). Alternatively, the presence, or absence of species at each marked point is recorded (systematic sampling). If the slope along the transect line is measured as well, the results can then be inserted onto this profile. 

Decide whether continuous or systematic sampling will be more useful and if you choose systematic sampling, decide on the interval between samples.

Record your results in a diagrammatic way, giving information about height, stem diameter etc. as far as possible. You can invent your own symbols for plants which are not on the example below, e.g. grasses, bamboos etc.

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