CWT-LTER Data Set Summary

Accession: 4072 CWT Research Theme: Population Ecology
Contributors: Monica G. Turner, Michelle M. Jackson, Scott M. Pearson
Title: Survey of forest herb abundance at 55 sites in the French Broad River watershed, 2009.
Abstract: We identified 14 native herbaceous species that represented a range of habitat generalists and specialists, and were common to the area. Sampling took place from May – August 2009. We selected sites by generating random points across 5 watersheds in ArcGIS and choosing a subset of 54 sites that were accessible, not recently logged, and not dominated by Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.), or mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). A 20x20-m plot was established at each site containing 3 transects at 0-m, 10-m, and 20-m, perpendicular to the slope. Using a modified version of the Braun Blanquet (1932) scale, we recorded percent cover for each focal species within 1-m2 quadrats at 6 evenly spaced intervals along each transect (18 quadrats per plot). The entire plot was thoroughly searched and the presence of any focal species not recorded in a quadrat was noted and assigned to the lowest cover class (0-0.1%). Within each quadrat, we also measured percent total herb and shrub cover, and litter depth (an average of 4 measurements). Slope and terrain shape were determined using a clinometer. We extracted elevation and distance to stream for each plot using 30-m digital elevation models (DEMs) in ArcGIS. Distance to stream represents relative slope position and was obtained by calculating flow accumulation and the distance from plots to the nearest point of highest accumulation, using a threshold of 100 pixels. High values indicate positions upslope near ridges and low values indicate positions downslope close to streams or coves. Five soil cores (5 cm diameter, 15 cm depth) were obtained from each plot, composited, sieved (4 mm) and oven-dried. Soils were analyzed for total N, organic matter, P, K+, Ca++, Mg++, and pH by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory using standard methods. Soil texture was determined in the laboratory using the hydrometer method.
Key Words: environmental gradients, FBR, generalized linear mixed models, multilevel models, ordination, southern Appalachian Mountains, species distributions, understory herbs
LTER Core Area: Other Site Research
CWT Themes: Population Ecology, Botany
Study Type: LTWA Biomonitoring Program
Study Period: 01-May-2009 to 31-Aug-2009
Site References:
FRENCHBRO -- French Broad River Basin, North Carolina & Tennessee, USA
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Data Table: 4072_g (Herb abundance g, 55)

Access: Public (released 12-Aug-2016)

Metadata: Text (ESA FLED), Basic EML, Complete EML

Data Formats: Spreadsheet CSV Text Format, EML-described Text Format, Tab-delimited Text Report with Statistical Summary, GCE Data Toolbox Format, Standard MATLAB Variables Format

Column List:

Column Name Units Type Description (hide)
1 Plot none alphanumeric string Plot ID
2 Location none alphanumeric string Watershed
3 Northing m floating-point Latitude (from center of plot)
4 Easting m floating-point Longitude (from center of plot)
5 Elevation m floating-point Elevation above sea level
6 AspectRC none integer Aspect reclassified: Degrees (measured from center of plot) are converted to a relative moisture index, with 1 (SSW) being the driest aspect and 16 (NNE) being the wettest (Day and Monk 1974).
7 Slope degree floating-point Slope, measured from plot center
8 Terrain degree floating-point Terrain Shape Index (measured from center of plot); Estimates the concavity or convexity of the local landform by averaging slope gradients from the plot center to its edge in the 8 sub-cardinal directions (McNab, 1996). A positive TSI indicates a concave landform, whereas a negative TSI indicates a convex landform.
9 Streamd m floating-point Euclidean distance to stream; measure of plot position along slope
10 Herb % floating-point Average total herb cover (< 0.5 m above ground)
11 Shrub % floating-point Average total shrub cover (0.5-3 m above ground)
12 Litter cm floating-point Average litter depth
13 TreeBA m^2 floating-point Tree basal area; relative basal area of trees > 10 cm DBH
14 ACSA m^2 floating-point Relative basal area of Acer saccharum (m2)
15 LITU m^2 floating-point Relative basal area of Liriodendron tulipifera (m2)
16 QUPR m^2 floating-point Relative basal area of Quercus prinus (m2)
17 TSCA m^2 floating-point Relative basal area of Tsuga canadensis (m2)
18 pH pH floating-point Soil pH
19 OM % floating-point Soil organic matter
20 Ca ppm floating-point Soil Calcium
21 Mg ppm floating-point Soil Magnesium
22 P ppm floating-point Soil Phosphorous
23 K ppm floating-point Soil potassium
24 N % floating-point Soil total nitrogen
25 SoilSand % floating-point Soil sand content
26 ACRA % floating-point Average percent cover of Actaea racemosa
27 ARTR % floating-point Average percent cover of Arisaema triphyllum
28 ASBI % floating-point Average percent cover of Astilbe biternata
29 ASCA % floating-point Average percent cover of Asarum canadense
30 CATH % floating-point Average percent cover of Caulophyllum thalictroides
31 CHMA % floating-point Average percent cover of Chimaphila maculatum
32 PRLA % floating-point Average percent cover of Prosartes lanuginosa
33 PRMA % floating-point Average percent cover of Prosartes maculatum
34 GALA % floating-point Average percent cover of Galium latifolia
35 GEMA % floating-point Average percent cover of Geranium maculatum
36 LISU % floating-point Average percent cover of Lilium superbum
37 MARA % floating-point Average percent cover of Maianthemum racemosa
38 MELI % floating-point Average percent cover of Melampyrum lineareae
39 POBI % floating-point Average percent cover of Polygonatum biflorum
40 SACA % floating-point Average percent cover of Sanguinaria canadensis
41 THDI % floating-point Average percent cover of Thalictrum diocium
42 TICO % floating-point Average percent cover of Tiarella cordifolia
43 TRGR % floating-point Average percent cover of Trillium grandiflorum
44 UVGR % floating-point Average percent cover of Uvularia grandiflora
45 UVPU % floating-point Average percent cover of Uvularia pubera
46 VICA % floating-point Average percent cover of Viola canadensis
47 VIRO % floating-point Average percent cover of Viola rotundifolia