The increased interest in biodiversity assessment studies by plant taxonomists calls for thorough knowledge of ecological theory and experimental design. Many very good textbooks have been published on plant population ecology and my first impression was therefore, is there a need for yet another textbook? After careful reading my answer is ‘yes’. The book is clearly setup with the idea ‘how to set up your experiment’, but it is certainly not a cooking book. After the introduction of theories and case studies from plant ecology the book focusses on the planning of a study. Many examples from the literature are used to provide the reader with more insight in ecological research. This part ends with the statistical design of experiments, written by Elizabeth John. Again many different tests are introduced, but John acknowledges the use of door stopping statistical textbooks when further planning your experiment. Both ANOVA and multivariate techniques are introduced and discussed, but as with many ecological textbooks the latter group of statistical tests is far from complete. This is a pity for biodiversity studies that so heavily rely on such tests. The third part describes the actual implementation of the study and how to measure biotic and abiotic treatments and conditions. The book ends with modelling and spatial analysis. Here Gibson is incomplete, since the part on analysis of transition matrices is clearly outdated and replaced by loop analysis. The fact that Gibson completely ignores this analysis, which was already published in the mid-90s, is a small stain on this comprehensive textbook. ‘Methods in Comparative Plant Population Ecology’ can become a standard book for undergraduate students in ecology doing their first experimental research. The book can assist senior scientists already working in the field as a mnemonic, and it will be of great value to teachers who are developing modules in population ecology. After reading the book, hopefully you will never pseudo-replicate your experiment!