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University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
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Using Science to support biodiversity

National Parks & Biodiversity on Paths

Stage 3:  How to carry out the investigation.
Part C - Choosing the site.

  • This is an important part of the investigation as the area chosen should be representative of what is ‘truly taking place’ and should not be biased by trying to get a result that you want (you may feel that it is being damaged and needs urgent attention – do not be biased).  The sample size is also important and it will very much depend on how much time and effort you are putting into the investigation.
  • The following panorama shows the sample site for the example investigation – where would you put the transect line?
Just click on the image and use your mouse to move around. Use the + & - buttons to zoom in and out.
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  • Note how paths go directly between the tors – people tend to take the shortest routes.  This area has easy access and is very popular  – note the road to the left.
  • The eventual site was placed on the main path leading up towards the point at which the photograph was taken.
  • The transect was laid across the path, each end extending well into the undisturbed vegetation.
  • If there was time available, more transects would have been laid at points below this initial sampling point.

Now find out about the two possible methods that can be used for sampling the transect.

Next Sampling Methods


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