Practical B4 - Use quadrats to investigate a habitat

Use quadrats to investigate the abundance of plants and/or animals in a habitat.

Quadrat - random sampling

Procedure

  1. Divide the area to be sampled into a grid using measuring tapes placed at right angles to each other.
  2. Use random numbers to generate coordinates within the grid on which to place the quadrats.
  3. Place a quadrat at each coordinate.
  4. Count the numbers/estimate percentage cover of each species in each quadrat.
  5. Use a key to identify each species.
  6. Record results in a table.
  7. Calculate the average of each species.

Quadrat - belt transect

The belt transect method is used when there is a gradual change from one side of a habitat to another, like the change in light between the outer edges of a forest to the centre.

Procedure

  1. Extend a measuring tape from one side of the habitat to another.
  2. Place a quadrat at 0m on the tape.
  3. Count the numbers/estimate percentage cover of each species.
  4. Use a key to identify each species.
  5. Record results in a table.
  6. Move the quadrat along the measuring tape.
  7. Repeat step 3-5 at regular intervals along the measuring tape.
  8. Continue until the full length of the measuring tape has been sampled.
  9. Calculate the average of each species.
  10. A bar chart can be drawn to show the data obtained.