Biomass Estimation & Sampling Techniques

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Introduction A series of sampling techniques were used in the field in order to estimate the amount of biomass that an area contained. The experiments were conducted at the Bisley Park on a Saturday. Two different methods were employed, namely quadrat-based methods and the disc-pasture metre method. The results gained from these samples were used to create an estimate of the biomass in the area. Materials and Methods There are two techniques used in the quadrat-based methods, namely the Comparative Yield Method and the Dry Weight Rank Method for Botanical Composition. The first experiment used was that of the Comparative Yield Method. This method requires two sets of data to be collected in order to get relevant inferences about the area. The grass biomasses are classed according to a three-class system. The classes are based on the biomass of the grasses in a given quadrat. The quadrat with a high biomass is a rank 3, whereas a quadrat with a low biomass has a rank of 1. In between these two is obviously a rank 2. If a quadrat has an intermittent value, then a rank of 1.5 or 2.5 can be given. The first set of data collected is to calibrate the classes, so three samples of each rank are cut and dried to be weighed later. This is done to get an idea of how much biomass is present per rank. The second set of data collected is done by taking a random transect of about 25 metres and noting the ranks at each meter interval. These points are recorded used to make inferences on the available biomass in the area. The second technique for the quadrat-based method is that of the Dry Weight Rank Method for Botanical Composition. This also involves walking a random 25 meter transect. The difference, instead, is that the q... ... middle of paper ... ...r. It could be due to different grass types that were being used. Our equation is specific to this area and can't be applied to another area, and vice versa. The other equation is specific to that area and vegetation type. Conclusion All these experiments have different ways of obtaining a biomass value for any specific area. Thus it is fair that they have varying end values. They also all have certain bias' that affect the end value. I think that the Comparative Yield Method is the most precise due to the cuttings that are taken before in order to make a representative curve. The Disc-Pasture method is, however, a much easier and less time consuming practise, but has a certain set backs as far as the end result is concerned. Our results showed that there is a possibility for erratic values to occur. It could be put to experimental error or poor field-work.

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