Scott Collins




The line-intercept transects included in this data set have been discontinued. These transects were installed to evaluate temporal and spatial dynamics in vegetation transition zones ( grama grassland/creosote shrubland) at one centimeter resolution. Each study site originally contained four 400 m transects, representing total coverage of 1 sq km. The transects were placed along a roughly north/south azimuth. The northwestern and southwestern transects were 100 meters from the western edge of the 1 sq km study area and the northeastern and southeastern transects were 100 m from the eastern edge, providing 800 meters between the eastern and western transects. The northeastern and northwestern transects began to the north and, after an interval of 200 meters, the southeastern and northeastern transects began, terminating at the southern edge of the study area.Ongoing line-intercept transect data for transect 1, which continues to be sampled at both Deep Well and Five Points, can be found in SEV004.


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This dataset was originally published on the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Data Portal,, and potentially via other repositories or portals as described. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of the source data package is doi:10.6073/pasta/7f6c012755e840dcdcc03845462da0e0, and may be accessed at Metadata and files included in this record mirror as closely as possible the source data and documentation, with the provenance metadata and quality report generated by the LTER portal reproduced here as '*-provenance.xml' and *-report.html' files, respectively.


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 (


Temporal coverage

1989-05-17 - 1998-10-08

Spatial coverage

Location: Valle de la Joya is south of Palo Duro Canyon, beyond Five Points and McKenzie Flats. Research in the area has included vegetation line-intercept transects and a re-sampling of historic Bureau of Land Management vegetation transects.Vegetation: Vegetation at this site is highly variable, ranging from arroyo-riparian to Chihuahuan Desert scrub., Location: 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 and 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 as the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location of 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. Vegetation: The Rio Salado Grassland site is Plains-Mesa Sand Scrub habitat characterized by stabilized deep-sand dominated by coppice dunes of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Co-dominant shrubs are sand sagebrush (Artemesia filifolia) and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), with winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), broom indigobush (Psorothamnus scoparius), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), and broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) as other notable shrubs. One-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) is present as well, especially along shallow washes. Compared to the Black Grama Core Site, grass cover is sparse and dominated by poverty threeawn (Aristida divaricata), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), mesa and spike dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus and S. contractus), as well as patches of black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda). Notable forbs included spectaclepod (Dimorphocarpa wislizenii), tansy aster (Machaeranthera tanacetifolia), desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), Abert buckwheat (Eriogonum abertianum), dwarf gilia (Ipomopsis pumila), rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce albomarginata), blunt tansymustard (Descarania obtusa), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), and Rocky Mountain zinnia (Zinnia grandiflora)., siteid: 13Location: Sepultura Canyon is one of the largest ravines coming down from the Los Pinos Mountains to McKenzie Flats. Originally a core site, rodent webs and vegetation line-intersept transects were located in Sepultura Canyon through 1992, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service established the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in the area.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as juniper-savanna with arroyo-riparian species., siteid: 5Location: Bronco Well is located near the northern boundary of the Sevilleta NWR, approximately four miles west of the ATandT on the road to Red Tank.siteid: 14Location: Five Points is the area which encompasses the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote Core study sites and falls along the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both sites are subject to intensive research activity, including NPP measurement, phenology observation, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are drought rain-out shelters in both the Black Grama and Creosote sites, as well as the mixed-ecotone, with co-located ET Towers.Vegetation: The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosotebush overstory with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (O. macrocentra) and soapweed yucca as notable shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous dense grass dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama site and the relatively recent appearance of creosotebush. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bush muhly (M. porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forb species include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.). Five Points Black Grama habitat is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. There is also a significant presence of shrubs, particularly broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), along with less abundant fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), club cholla (O. clavata), desert pricklypear (O. phaeacantha), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), and what are presumed to be encroaching, yet sparsely distributed, creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda). Spike, sand, and mesa dropseed grasses (Sporobolus contractus, S. cryptandrus, S. flexuosus) and sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola) could be considered co-dominant throughout, along with blue grama (B. gracilis) in a more mesic, shallow swale on the site. Notable forb species include trailing four o’clock (Allionia incarnata), horn loco milkvetch (Astragalus missouriensis), sawtooth spurge (Chamaesyce serrula), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), blunt tansymustard (Descarania obtusa), wooly plaintain (Plantago patagonica), globemallow (Sphaeralcea wrightii), and mouse ear (Tidestromia lanuginosa)., siteid: 2Location: Deep Well is located on McKenzie Flats and is site of the longest running SEV LTER met station, number 40, which has been active since 1988. In addition to studies of meteorological variables, core line-intercept vegetation transects and line-intercept transects from the 1995 and 2001 Deep Well fires are sampled here. The mini-rhizotron study, blue and black grama compositional comparison, blue and black grama patch dynamics investigation, and kangaroo rat population assessement are all ongoing here. Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed is also the location of the warming and monsoon experiments, as well as portions of the line-intercept and vegetation removal studies. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the area of Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed. While portions of this site were burned, the entirety was not. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the fire.Vegetation: The vegetation of Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed is Chihuahuan Desert Grassland, dominated by black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) and blue grama (B. gracilis). Other grasses found at the site include dropseeds (Sporobolus spp.) and threeawns (Aristida spp.). Shrubs are uncommon but those that occur include Yucca glauca, Ephedra torreyi, and four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens). Herbaceous plants include Plantago purshii, Hymenopappus filifolius, and globe mallows (Sphaeralcea spp.).



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