Iam soon going to be recording what species are present along a transect. I need to know why it is better to use a belt transect rather than a line transect.
Both methods are fine. If you use a line transect, make it around 300-500m
long and sample plants along its length. You can’t possibly record them
all, so chooses a sampling method. This has the added advantage of allowing
you to justify WHY you chose one sampling technique as opposed to another.
Systematic sampling is the best for this. It means sampling along the transect
at regular intervals. If you choose 50m intervals, 350m would mean selecting
seven sites to collect data.
After you have measured this out, why not use a 1m quadrat and throw it randomly,
identifying all the plants within this 1m section? A frame quadrat, where the
Im is divided into equal sections is brill for determining the proportions of
You could use random sampling, but your points could end up grouped together,
wich would not allow you to see changes along your transect, or you could use
stratified sampling, in which you sample from within particular areas. This
is not as good here as you could choose the areas wrongly and not see the actual
changes well enough.
If you do a belt transect, there will be even more plants that you could identify!
Again, you will have to sample from within the belt, perhaps choosing a im section
every 50m in which to identify your plants.
Whichever you choose (On balance, I’d go for the line transect and the
quadrat analysis) talk about the other method and say WHY you chose it. That
personal selection of technique and the justification for it is crucial to good
marks at “A” Level, do the same with the stats.
PS If you want me to check your work as you go along, I will do - just send
it to studyzones.com. Or if you want to tell me the kind of area you are about
to study, I will be able to give you some recording tips.