Principles of Vegetation Measurement & Assessment
and Ecological Monitoring & Analysis


Veg Sampling
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Module 9 - Diversity, Dominance, and Similarity

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Lesson Instructions

  1. Read through the Overview and Learning Objectives.
  2. Complete the Required Readings.
  3. Read and review the Lectures.
  4. Visit suggested Internet Sites in the lectures.
  5. Check the schedule for the required Assignment.
  6. Complete assignments and submit by Blackboard:
      Content Summary due by Midnight on Tuesday, November 27.
    Data Summary
    due by Midnight on Tuesday, December 04

Learning Materials


Required Reading:


Slides Lecture



What this Lesson Covers


So far in this course we have learned that several attributes can be measured to describe vegetation communities. These include:

  • Density
  • Frequency
  • Cover
  • Biomass

There are several ways that these individual attributes can be combined to create descriptive measures of plant communities. These include:

  • Dominance
  • Diversity
  • Composition
  • Similarity

This module overviews approaches and protocols that combine individual attributes to create a few commonly used measures to describe plant communities.

Learning Objectives

After this module you will be able to:

  • Explain how individual measures of density, cover or biomass can be used to calculate composition of a plant community.

  • Calculate and evaluate common values for biodiversity in plant communities.

  • Describe the ways that diversity and dominance are used to evaluate plant communities.

  • Understand how the similarity between plant communities can be used to assess and describe habitats.

  • Explain the concept of a "referent" used in monitoring and assessment.