Definitions for quadratˈkwɒd rət
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word quadrat
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Ref: quad2 (def. 1). 1 2 1
a square or rectangular plot of land marked off for the study of plants and animals.
Origin of quadrat:
1675–85; var. of quadrate
a block of type metal lower than the letters, -- used in spacing and in blank lines
an old instrument used for taking altitudes; -- called also geometrical square, and line of shadows
A quadrat is a small, typically rectangular plot used in ecology and geography to isolate a standard unit of area for study of the distribution of an item over a large area. The quadrat is suitable for sampling plants, slow-moving animals, and some aquatic organisms. When an ecologist wants to know how many organisms there are in a particular habitat, it would not be feasible to count them all. Instead, he or she would be forced to count a smaller representative part of the population, called a sample. Sampling of plants or animals that do not move much, can be done using a sampling square called a quadrat. A suitable size of a quadrat depends on the size of the organisms being sampled. For example, to count plants growing on a school field, one could use a quadrat with sides 0.5 or 1 meter in length. It is important that sampling in an area is carried out at random, to avoid bias. For example, if you were sampling from a school field, but for convenience only placed quadrats next to a path, this might not give a sample that was representative of the whole field. It would be an unrepresentative, or biased, sample. One way one can sample randomly is to place the quadrats at coordinates on a numbered grid.
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