plant species

BGPVC Plant species composition in the Belowground Plot Experiment at Konza Prairie

Abstract: 

Two permanent plant composition plots were marked with conduit in each of the 64 plots. Canopy cover was recorded in a 5 m2circular area surrounding each of the plots.  At approximately 5-year intervals, coverage is assessed in late July, using visual estimates of cover by species, based on a modified Daubenmire scale. NOTE:In 1989, sampling was done once in early July after mowing using one 10 m2 plot placed randomly in the approximate center of each plot. In 1994, plant composition sampling was done in early June in the unmowed plots; sampling in the mowed plots occurred in August. In 1999, two permanent conduits were placed in each plot, and sampling was conducted in June, before mowing, and again in August using 5 m2 plot sizes. In 2005 and afterward, sampling was reduced to one time in late July. Sampling occurred once every five years until 2015. Plots have been sampled annually since 2016.

Data set ID: 

17

Core Areas: 

Short name: 

BGPVC

Purpose: 

To determine the canopy coverage of all plant species and total species coverage, richness, and diversity.

Methods: 

Locations of sampling stations: LTER belowground study plots.

Sampling history: In 1989, sampling was done once in early July after mowing using one 10 m2 plot placed randomly in the approximate center of each plot. In 1994, plant composition sampling was done in early June in the unmowed plots; sampling in the mowed plots occurred in August. In 1999, two permanent conduits were placed in each plot, and sampling was conducted in June, before mowing, and again in August using 5 m2 plot sizes. In 2005 and afterward, sampling was reduced to one time in late July. Sampling occurred once every five years until 2015. Plots have been sampled annually since 2016.

Frequency of sampling: see above.

Variables measured: Estimated canopy coverage class for each species.

Methods: to assess plant species composition all plant species in a 5 m2 circular plot are recorded. A surveyor's pin is placed in the conduit marking the center of the plot. Attached to the pin is a 1.26 m long chain with a ring at the free end. The observer holds the ring on a finger, pulls the chain taut, and walks in a circle around the circumference of the plot defined by the chain radius. For each plot, canopy coverage of all species is estimated using a modified Daubenmire cover scale (Bailey and Poulton, 1968, Ecology 49:1-13).

Cover categories are: Class - Canopy cover - Mid-point:1 - '<1%' - '0.5%'; 2 - '1-5%' - '3.0%'; 3 - '5-25%' - '15.0%'; 4 - '25-50%' - '37.5%' ; 5 - '50-75%' - '62.5%'; 6 - '75-95%' - '85.0%'; 7 - '95-100%' - '97.5%'.

Form of data output: canopy coverage is computed for each plot by averaging the midpoints of the cover class ratings for each species for the 2 plots at each sampling period.

For list of species codes used: please check Konza species list (PDF), or species list in Excel version

For schematic of the plot-level treatments see: BGPVC Trt Map

For additional metadata information see: http://lter.konza.ksu.edu/sites/default/files/DC.pdf

For additional methods information see: http://lter.konza.ksu.edu/sites/default/files/MM.pdf

Data sources: 

Maintenance: 

ongoing

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