quadrat

[kwod-ruht]
noun
1.
Printing. quad2 ( def 1 ).
2.
Ecology. a square or rectangular plot of land marked off for the study of plants and animals.

Origin:
1675–85; variant of quadrate

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World English Dictionary
quadrat (ˈkwɒdrət)
 
n
1.  ecology an area of vegetation, often one square metre, marked out for study of the plants in the surrounding area
2.  the frame used to mark out such an area
 
[C14 (meaning "a square"): variant of quadrate]

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Example sentences
The quadrat method is frequently used to count plant populations over a large
  region.
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the
  underside of ice floes.
The clipped material from each quadrat was placed in a sealed plastic bag.
Then they identified and counted every plant and animal inside the boundary of
  the quadrat.
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