Scaling up ... way up
We were able to estimate the total number of dandelions in our yard by scaling up from the sample data. Our sample segments represent the entire lawn on a smaller scale. Once we have an estimate for the average number of dandelions in the sample square, we could scale up to the entire lawn by multiplying that number by the total number of squares in the yard. Or put another way; multiply our estimate of the number of dandelions in a 1m2 sample by the total meters of lawn.
We could keep going and calculate an estimate of the number of dandelions in your neighborhood or even in the entire state of Maryland by continuing to scale up from our original estimate.
We might even find that Maryland has so many dandelions that we should take advantage of this rich natural resource and go into the business of making dandelion wine, salads, salves and other specialty products (as there really are an amazing number of uses for such a humble weed!).
Copyright University of Maryland, 2007
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