If you’re attending a training and need to do the pre-course work, can’t attend a training, or you just learn better from video and audio than reading a manual, there are resources available to help you. This collection covers all Core Methods from volume I of the first edition of the Monitoring Manual and some of the supplementary methods from volume II. It is in the process of being updated with more succinct and recent content.
Ecological Site Identification
Knowing what ecological site your data comes from makes a huge difference for understanding the state of the systems. Learn how to identify the ecological site at your survey locations.
Photo points can be used for long-term qualitative trend monitoring, but to need to be handled consistently to be truly useful.
Establishing a Transect
The heart of most of the methods in the Monitoring Manual is the transect. It’s important to be able to run a straight and true transect in order to collect unbiased data.
The line-point intercept technique allows you to gather quantitative structure and cover data for plants, litter, soil, cryptobiotic crust, and other possible cover-contributors.
The vegetation height method is designed to gather data on the heights of both woody and herbaceous plants by species.
Canopy and Basal Gap Intercept
When you want to know the distribution and sizes of gaps in the cover provided by plants either overhanging or at the soil surface, these methods help to gather quantitative and reproducible data.
Soils maybe be stable or unstable depending on a variety of factors, but this method assigns a numerical value 1 through 6 to the resistance a soil sample has to losing its integrity in water. This is a simple approximation of the potential erosion vulnerability of the soil.
Plant Species Inventory
Not every plant species that falls within the area of the plot will also be encountered by methods that are run along transects. The species inventory records every plant species that falls within the plot regardless of whether other methods have detected them or not and gives a better impression of the diversity present.
This is a more involved method that the others listed here, but can be used to estimate the productivity of rangeland and its ability to support livestock use. Note that this is not one of the Core Methods in the Monitoring Manual!
Vegetation Structure with a Cover Pole
In some cases, you want to know the structure of larger vegetation. This technique uses a standardized cover pole in order to make quick judgments regarding those structures. Note that this is not one of the Core Methods in the Monitoring Manual!