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Home > Biology > The biosphere > Investigating an ecosystem


Investigating an ecosystem

Sampling plants

It would be impossible to count all the plants in a habitat, so a sample is taken. A tool called a quadrat is often used in sampling plants. It marks off an exact area so that the plants in that area can be identified and counted.

Quadrat dividing up an area of plant life into 9 sections

About quadrats:

  • quadrats should be placed randomly so that a representative sample is taken
  • you should look at the results from several quadrats in an area to reduce the effect of an unusual distribution
  • the results are more reliable when you look at the results from many quadrats
  • quadrats may also be used for slow moving animals such as snails/slugs


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