The ability of resource managers to make informed decisions regarding wildlife habitat could be improved with the use of existing data sets and the use of cost-effective, standardized methods to simultaneously quantify vertical and horizontal cover. We characterized vegetation structure of 3 semiarid plant communities to compare cover pole measurements, standard measurements of vegetation cover, composition, height, and the proportion of the soil surface exposed by large intercanopy gaps. We propose that a more versatile and interpretable description of wildlife habitat can be generated using a line-point intercept method together with measurements of vegetation height and the proportion of the soil surface exposed by large intercanopy gaps.
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Vol. 74 • No. 3