An Analysis of the Beta-Attenuation Technique for Estimating Standing Crop of Prairie Range
CitationMitchell, J. E. (1972). An analysis of the beta-attenuation technique for estimating standing crop of prairie range. Journal of Range Management, 25(4), 300-304.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractThe standing crop of aboveground shortgrass prairie vegetation may be quickly and accurately estimated by the beta-attenuation technique. This technique is based upon the principle that herbage absorbs or attenuates beta particles emitted by certain radioactive nuclides as a predictable function of the herbage biomass intersecting the attenuation field between emitter and detector. Two methods of measurement are correlated with standing vegetation. These tests indicate that the method can account for approximately 90% of the variation measured in the field, with the exception of quadrats dominated by plains prickly pear. In addition to being accurate, precise, and relatively inexpensive, the beta-attenuation technique is nondestructive in nature, allowing repetitive sampling of the same location.