Aquatic Plant Research > Scientific Data on Aquatic Plant Communities > Wisconsin Standard Method to Collect Aquatic Plant Data > Survey Tools and Training > The Wisconsin Standard Aquatic Plant Survey Method
Aquatic Plant Research
The Wisconsin Standard Aquatic Plant Survey Method
Taking someone's weight and height are two different approaches to collecting data about a person, and if you want to know whether a someone is growing over the course of a year, you shouldn't compare their weight in January to their height in December. However, before we established a standard approach to collecting data on aquatic plants, researchers used to employ different methods that would produce similarly incomparable data. Recognizing the need to understand the status of aquatic plant communities in Wisconsin lakes, scientists created a single, standardized observation method. Now, researchers, lake managers, and consultants use the same method to collect information about aquatic plant communities, and we can better understand the status of the many species of plants that provide habitat to wildlife and keep lake water clear. We have written a detailed manual that explains how to conduct a survey, including details on how to use the data to make plant community maps and how to assess changes that occur in plant communities over time.