Vegetation Surveying using Transects
The use of transects to monitor changes in vegetation over a period of time has been practiced for decades. The methodology includes obtaining information about the species present, their health and percentage cover of foliage. With the advent of digital technology many researchers use cameras to record and analyse vegetation. Generally saltmarsh vegetation is relatively low in height (10 to 30 cm) and lends itself well to this approach. The methods in this section cover the set up of a transect, recording data and camera techniques. 
Sample of Transect Images

 

Video Presentation on Transect methods

 

 





Saltmarsh Zonation for SEQ

 

 

Conceptual Model of Saltmarsh processes and vegetation zonation in Moreton Bay (Mackenzie and Duke 2006) 

Methods
  1. Insert end stake (permanent if possible)
  2. Run out 60 M tape in line with mapping information (normally a set of parallel lines)
  3. Use GPS to record position of end stakes and allocate the transect with a number
  4. Take photographs at designated points along the transect tape
  5. Record frame number on datasheet 
Presentation Notes

 

Click on the tile for the printable presentation notes



A number of research studies in Australia have identified that saltmarsh vegetation tends to form zones (areas of similar species). It is thought that the presence of a particular plant species could reflect some of the physical conditions of the location. Some of these conditions would include exposure to tides, salinity, soil type and importantly soil elevation shade and so on.   The presence of epifauna such as gastropods and crustaceans may also have an impact on the distribution of saltmarsh vegetation. It has been suggested that when rehabilitating saltmarsh and using techniques such as seeding there is a greater chance of success if the seeds correspond to the species zonation. Therefore an important outcome in vegetation monitoring is to determine if there is a zonation pattern and which species are likely to succeed in a certain location within the saltmarsh area. The conceptual model on the left was put forward as an example of saltmarsh function for the Moreton Bay region by researchers Norm Duke and Jock Mackenzie in 2005.  

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