Transects are specially shaped sample units having a length dimension that greatly exceeds the width, so that it extends in a continuous manner across the vegetation. Transects are the sample unit of choice when sampling involves larger plants, such as shrubs or trees, because it allows a larger area to be systematically sampled by proceeding along its elongated axis.

Line transects feature only a length dimension, usually defined by the edge of a tape stretched across the area to be sampled.

Belt transects have a width dimension to create a sampling area; the length is usually defined by the edge of a stretched tape, while another tape or rule is used to define its width.

Pace-transects are established when the observer strides along an imaginary line across the site, using their foot placement to determine specific sampling points.

References and Further Reading

Bonham, C.D. 1989. Measurements for terrestrial vegetation. John Wiley Son, New York, NY. pp 19-40.

Kent, M., and P. Choker. 1992. Vegetation description and analysis. Belhaven Press, London. pp 40-56.