Previous researchers have advocated that to obtain maximum diversity one must position rectangular plots along the environmental gradient that generates the highest species turnover. In the ecosystems studied here there was no evidence of consistent trends along gradients either perpendicular or parallel to the slope contour.
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Keeley, J. E. and C. J. Fotheringham. 2005. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements. Journal of Vegetation Science 16:249-256.