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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Transector: An Inexpensive Device to Measure Ground Cover and Botanical Composition of Swards1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 2, p. 369-370
    Received: May 15, 1978

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  1. J. M. S. Andrade and
  2. W. R. Ocumpaugh2



A need for an apparatus capable of simplifying the reading and recording of ground cover and botanical composition on 80 experimental grazing plots prompted the development and testing of the transector.

The objective of this manuscript is to describe how to construct and use the device to measure ground cover and/or botanical composition of grazed swards. The transector is a device that uses the line interception method, developed over 25 years ago, to simplify the logistics of pasture sampling and subsequent data analysis. The transector is a lightweight, simple, inexpensive device that is easily constructed and maintained. The only essential materials neded for the transector are two pieces of aluminum patio extrusion. This device makes it possible to take direct readings along a 5-m long line without moving the transector. Since this device permits a direct reading along the line, it also simplifies the subsequent accumulation of the data for determining ground cover or botanical composition percentages.

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