Original Articles

The precision of assessing components of the condition of moist tall grassveld


The precision of a rapid technique previously developed to assess veld condition in three grassveld types in Natal was investigated. Three plots were assessed four times on each of three occasions during a growing season. Because basal cover tends to be low, and since it is binomially distributed, it is a poor statistic for rapid techniques. Measuring the proportions of ecological groups and the species composition score has satisfactory precision. On 19 out of 20 occasions the composition score obtained from assessing a single plot once lies within ± 4,5 units of a large sample mean which may range between 0 and 100 units. Assessments should be done during the growing season, and standardised with respect to plant phenology, burning and mowing.

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