Study ID 340

Small Mammal Exclosure Study (SMES) Vegetation Data from the Chihuahuan Desert

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Realm: Terrestrial
Climate: Temperate
Biome: Deserts and xeric shrublands
Central latitude: 34.296000
Central longitude: -106.926700
Duration: 15 years, from 1995 to 2009

1608 records

93 distinct species

Across the time series Larrea tridentata is the most frequently occurring species

Citation(s):

Lightfoot, D. (2011) “Small Mammal Exclosure Study (SMES) Vegetation Data from the Chihuahuan Desert Grassland and Shrubland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2006-2009)”. Long Term Ecological Research Network. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/d80d5e2196cd11ef79df23ebe5a77c19, accessed 2016.

Methods

Each of the three plots in a replicate block are separated by 20 meters. Each experimental measurement plot measures 36 meters by 36 meters. A grid of 36 sampling points are positioned at 5.8-meter intervals on a systematically located 6 by 6 point grid within each plot. A permanent one-meter by one-meter vegetation measurement quadrat is located at each of the 36 points. A 3-meter wide buffer area is situated between the grid of 36 points and the perimeter of each plot. Vegetation Quadrat Measurements The foliage canopy area and maximum height of each plant species is measured from each quadrat. All cover values are measured from the vegetation measurement frame which is 1 meter by 1 meter and partitioned into a grid of 100 10 cm by 10 cm squares. Cover is measured by counting the number of 10cm squares that are occupied by the foliage canopy of a particular plant species or by the soil disturbance leaf litter etc. Portions down to the 0.1 of a 10cm square are also measured. NOTE: AS OF 2006 ALL PLANT CODES WERE UPDATED TO REFLECT THE USDA PLANTS DATABASE prior to this plant taxonomic classification followed that of Allred (1996). For dead plant foliage (plant is deadbut still attached to the soil) just cover and not height was recorded. Experimental Design There are 2 study sites the Five Points grassland site and the Rio Salado creosotebush site. Each study site is 1 km by 0.5 km in area. Three rodent trapping webs and four replicate experimental blocks of plots are randomly located at each study site to measure vegetation responses to the exclusion of small mammals. Each block of plots is 96 meters on each side. Each block of plots consists of 4 experimental study plots each occupying 1/4 of each block. The blocks of study plots are all oriented on a site in a X/Y coordinate system with the top to the north. Treatments within each block include one unfenced control plot (Treatment: C) one plot fenced with hardware cloth and poultry wire to exclude rodents and rabbits (Treatment: R) and one plot fenced only with poultry wire to exclude rabbits (Treatment: L). The three treatments were randomly assigned to each of the four possible plots in each block independently and their arrangements differ from block to block. Each of the three plots in a replicate block are separated by 20 meters. Each experimental measurement plot measures 36 meters by 36 meters. A grid of 36 sampling points are positioned at 5.8-meter intervals on a systematically located 6 by 6 point grid within each plot. A permanent one-meter by one-meter vegetation measurement quadrat is located at each of the 36 points. A 3-meter wide buffer area is situated between the grid of 36 points and the perimeter of each plot. Vegetation Quadrat Measurements The foliage canopy area and maximum height of each plant species is measured from each quadrat. All cover values are measured from the vegetation measurement frame which is 1 meter by 1 meter and partitioned into a grid of 100 10 cm by 10 cm squares. Cover is measured by counting the number of 10cm squares that are occupied by the foliage canopy of a particular plant species or by the soil disturbance leaf litter etc. Portions down to the 0.1 of a 10cm square are also measured. NOTE: AS OF 2006 ALL PLANT CODES WERE UPDATED TO REFLECT THE USDA PLANTS DATABASE prior to this plant taxonomic classification followed that of Allred (1996). For dead plant foliage (plant is deadbut still attached to the soil) just cover and not height was recorded. Unit of abundance = AggregatedCount, Unit of biomass = NA