Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Reprinted from The Plant World, VoL 11, No. 11, November 1918.


The quadrat method of studying vegetation has become an integral part of many of the more important ecological investigations. Although occasionally used throughout the past century for determining the amount of plant material produced or for purposes of enumeration, it was organized into a definite system for the study of the structure and development of vegetation by Pound and Clements (15, 16) and Clements (2, 3, 5) only about eighteen years ago. Since that time it has been used, sometimes in a modified form (12, 21), by numerous investigators both American and European. Indeed, with the rapid increase in the number of successional and other ecological studies the use of the quadrat and its modifications is becoming as universal as it is fundamental (6). Not a few of the many important problems connected with grazing, land classification, indicator vegetation, afforestation, and reforestation have been solved by the aid of the quadrat method. By the use of this method Sampson (17) has worked out a system of deferred grazing for the ranges in the national forests whereby the forage crop is utilized in such a way as to maintain the lands at their highest state of productiveness and at the same time give the greatest possible returns to the stock industry. He has also shown in a very concrete and satisfactory manner the application of a knowledge of plant succession to range management (19).