Cover Board Method

written by Jason Karl and Karen Colson

Description and Uses

The Cover Board Method is used to evaluate vertical cover and vegetation structure over time. It requires a profile board or density board to estimate the vertical area of a board covered by vegetation from a specified distance away. Many different types of boards have been developed. While they vary in dimensions they are generally narrow boards with bands of alternating colors that define vertical bands.

This method is applicable to a wide variety of vegetation types and is particularly useful when used with those vegetation types that show potential for changes, such as woody riparian vegetation.

Advantages and Limitations

The Cover Board technique is a fast and easily duplicated procedure. The size of the board can be modified to meet the purpose of the study.


Utilization Studies and Residual Measurements (Technical Reference 1734-3)

Technical and Application References

Nudds, Thomas D. 1977. Quantifying the vegetative structure of wildlife cover. Wildlife Society Bulletin 5:113-117.

Similar Approaches

Line-point intercept with height

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