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A transect running across a stream.

A transect is a path along which one counts and records occurrences of the objects of study (e.g. plants).[citation needed]

There are several types of transect. Some are more effective than others.[1]

It requires an observer to move along a fixed path and to count occurrences along the path and, at the same time (in some procedures), obtain the distance of the object from the path. This results in an estimate of the area covered and an estimate of the way in which detectability increases from probability 0 (far from the path) towards 1 (near the path). Using the raw count and this probability function, one can arrive at an estimate of the actual density of objects.

Transects being used to measure the changes around the boundary of a grassland fire near Backhouse Tarn, Tasmania.

The estimation of the abundance of populations (such as terrestrial mammal species) can be achieved using a number of different types of transect methods, such as strip transects, line transects, belt transects, point transects[2][page needed] and curved line transects.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Why use line transects?".
  2. ^ Buckland, S. T.; Anderson, D. R.; Burnham, K. P.; Laake, J. L. 1993. Distance Sampling: Estimating Abundance of Biological Populations. London: Chapman and Hall. ISBN 0-412-42660-9
  3. ^ Line Lex Hiby, M. B. Krishna 2001. "Transect Sampling from a Curving Path". Biometrics. 57(3):727–731 [1] Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of transect at Wiktionary