To begin considering which sampling techniques are appropriate
for vegetation and flora surveys, it is firstly important to have
a clear definition of the terminology that is used to descibe vegetation.
Two important distinctions are made:
- Individuals vs Populations
- in vegetation sampling an individual is a separate
entity, such as a tree, shrub or graminoid plant. Because
vegetative growth in herbaceous plants often entails multiple
stems arising from a common root or rhizome system, it may
be difficult to distinguish the limits of a true individual.
In this case it is common to define the individual as a separate
stem or clump.
- the population consists of a collection of individuals,
of the one species.
- Vegetation vs Flora
- the vegetation of an area is the total plant cover
of that area or 'an assemblage of plants growing together
in a particular location'. "Vegetation" is a structural
- the flora of an area is the sum of the plant species
in an area. "Flora" refers to the species composition
of the vegetation.
Two main vegetation descriptions that are used are
Explore these for further information.