Environmental Management

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 323–329

Application of the Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale for vegetation analysis in land development studies


  • Douglas A. Wikum
    • Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation
  • G. Frederick Shanholtzer
    • Dames & Moore

DOI: 10.1007/BF01866672

Cite this article as:
Wikum, D.A. & Shanholtzer, G.F. Environmental Management (1978) 2: 323. doi:10.1007/BF01866672


To document environmental impact predictions for land development, as required by United States government regulatory agencies, vegetation studies are conducted using a variety of methods. Density measurement (stem counts) is one method that is frequently used. However, density measurement of shrub and herbaceous vegetation is time-consuming and costly. As an alternative, the Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale was used to analyze vegetation in several ecological studies. Results from one of these studies show that the Braun-Blanquet method requires only one third to one fifth the field time required for the density method. Furthermore, cover-abundance ratings are better suited than density values to elucidate graphically species-environment relationships. For extensive surveys this method provides sufficiently accurate baseline data to allow environmental impact assessment as required by regulatory agencies.

Key words

Environmental impact assessmentDensity measurementBraun-Blanquet cover-abundance scaleVegetation analysisBiogeography
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1978