Grassland vegetation sampling - a practical guide for sampling and data analysis


Acta Bot. Bras.




ABSTRACT Grassland and savanna ecosystems are the original vegetation types of more than 30% of the Brazilian territory, but conservation and training of future professionals has largely focused on forests. In fact, no standard protocols exist for sampling grassland vegetation for environmental planning or licensing. Neglecting non-forest ecosystems may have deleterious consequences for the maintenance of biodiversity and the provisioning of ecosystem services. Herein, we provide practical guidelines on how to conceive and develop ecological studies of grassland vegetation for scientific, monitoring or technical purposes. Using examples mostly from southern Brazil, we explain and discuss the various components of the research process, from the question to be investigated to defining and implementing the sampling design, performing data analyses and presenting the results. Our guidelines should prove useful for training technicians and researchers working on grassland ecosystems and other non-forest ecosystems in Brazil and surrounding regions.

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