22. Plot Shapes and Observational Methods

  1. Steven K. Thompson

Published Online: 10 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch22

Sampling, Third Edition

Sampling, Third Edition

How to Cite

Thompson, S. K. (2012) Plot Shapes and Observational Methods, in Sampling, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch22

Author Information

  1. Simon Fraser University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 FEB 2012

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Walter A. Shewhart and
  2. Samuel S. Wilks

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470402313

Online ISBN: 9781118162934



  • detectability methods;
  • observational methods;
  • plot shapes;
  • sampling methods


Sampling methods for plant and animal populations include methods with plots, in which every animal or plant within a sample plot is observed, and methods such as line transects or aerial surveys, in which some of the individuals are detected and some are missed, with detection probabilities given by a detectability function. To understand the properties of observations made in sampling such populations—and hence to determine efficient designs and estimation methods to use with such populations—it is useful to work with the mean and covariance density functions of the stochastic point process giving rise to the population. This chapter begins with a discussion of observations from plots and detectability units. It then presents comparison of plot shapes and detectability methods.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

observational study; plots; sampling