Binomial Distribution

Binomial distributions are special sampling distributions generated when an attribute with only two possible outcomes is being recorded from a series of sample units. The sample units should be independent and selected by random sampling.

In rangeland sampling, recording the presence of plants in quadrats to determine frequency produces a binomial distribution. Binomial distributions are also associated with point sampling to determine cover whenever each pin is considered a separate sample unit so that data is collected on a 'hit' basis.

Sample data following a binomial distribution cannot be analyzed using conventional inferential statistical procedures, which assume that data fits a normal distribution. Procedures specific to the binomial distribution can be found in statistics textbooks.

References and Further Reading

Bonham, C.D. 1989. Measurements for terrestrial vegetation. John Wiley Sons, New York, NY. pp 77-79.

Dowdy, S. and S. Weardon. 1991. Statistics for research. John Wiley Sons, New York, NY. 2nd ed. pp 49-86, 179-183.