Herbage area or vegetation cover
Herbage area or vegetation cover is an important aspect of vegetation study in understanding the nature of a community particularly in evaluating quantitative relationship between species. When the herbage covers of individual plants are in lateral contact and form a continuous cover, the vegetation is said to be closed.
When the vegetation cover has gaps, which could be colonised by other individuals, it is said to be open, and if the amount of space is much greater than that occupied by plants the term sparse is used. Periodic record of herbage cover provides extremely valuable information in determining the nature and trend of changes in a community.