This lab requires students to put to use actual population sampling methods and techniques in determining the dandelion population on the school grounds. This lab could easily be modified to study an alternate organism, in an alternate location.
To determine the density of dandelion plants, Taraxacum officionale, on the school lawn.
The quadrant method of population study uses plots of fixed size (usually one square meter) and shape as sampling units. Plots can be square, round or rectangular. In gathering data, many small samples are more informative than a few large ones. The total sampling size should be at least 10% of the study area to accurately predict the population structure. For example, if you decide the study area will be 100 m2, you need to sample at least ten, 1 m2 plots. The position of the plots should be determined randomly to eliminate bias.