The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not the activities of small mammals regulate plant community structure, plant species diversity, and spatial vegetation patterns in Chihuahuan Desert shrublands and grasslands. What role if any do indigenous small mammal consumers have in maintaining desertified landscapes in the Chihuahuan Desert? Additionally, how do the effects of small mammals interact with changing climate to affect vegetation patterns over time? This is data for perennial plant vegetation canopy cover measured from all SMES study plots, fall 1995 and fall 2005. The purpose of this data is to provide ground-truth data for comparison with low-level aerial photographs of each study plot. Three, 29 meter lines were measured along three of six rows of the permanent vegetation measurement quadrats. Each line was measured at 10cm resolution for intercepts of perennial plant live canopy cover, and for bare ground. 10cm resolution is comparable to the resolution of the aerial photos. All plants were identified to the species level. These line-intercept measurements are taken once every ten years, at the same time that low-level aerial photographs are taken. These data will be compared to both decadal air photos, and annual measures ofvegetation from one-meter2 quadrats on each plot to provide information on vegetation change over time relative to the various animal exclosure treatments.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
1995-10-18 - 2005-11-29
Five Points Black Grama is on the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitat. The site is subject to intensive research activity, including assessments of net primary productivity, phenology, and pollinator diversity, amongst other projects. It is the site of the unburned black grama (GU) component of the Burn NPP study. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the Five Points Black Grama site. Portions of this site were burned, but not the entirety. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the burn. The Rio Salado is an ephemeral tributary of the Rio Grande on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR, flowing west by northwest to east by southeast. Rio Salado Grassland & Rio Salado Larrea are two study sites established in 1989. These sites were established as counterparts to sites at Five Points. Between 1989 and 1998, vegetation, litter decomposition, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent populations were studied at both sites. Core studies at these sites were largely terminated in 1998, although rodent populations are still monitored at the Rio Salado Larrea site because the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location Met Station 44.The Rio Salado study sites are accessed by taking the San Acacia exit, going west and then taking the frontage road back north to the Sevilleta NWR gate. After entering the refuge turn left after 0.2 mi and take this road 1.4 mi to a "T" in the road at the power lines. An earthen berm stops road travel here and the met station is located about 300 m west on the blocked road.
Lightfoot, David (2016-03-08): Small Mammal Exclosure Study (SMES) Vegetation Line Intercept from Chihuahuan Desert Grassland and Shrubland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1995-2005). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/61ff1227e65ef6c5eaac28c6c84b0165