Michael W. Palmer, Robert K. Peet, Rebecca A. Reed, Weimin Xi, and Peter S. White. 2007. A multiscale study of vascular plants in a North Carolina Piedmont forest. Ecology 88:2674.

Data Paper

Ecological Archives E088-162-D1.


Data Files


Michael W. Palmer
Department of Botany
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078 USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Robert K. Peet
Department of Biology
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 USA

Rebecca A. Reed
Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman, & McNally PLC
1 S. Church Avenue #900
Tucson, Arizona 85701 USA

Weimin Xi
The Knowledge Engineering Laboratory
Department of Entomology
Texas A&M university
College Station, Texas 77843-2475 USA

Peter S. White
Department of Biology
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 USA

Data Files

Files are ASCII text, tab delimited. No compression schemes were used.

Oosting_pres1.txt -- for the multiscale vascular plant grid data collected in 1989, with species as columns. Consists of 1124 lines, not including the header row.

Oosting_pres2.txt -- contains identical data to oosting_pres1.txt but has species as attributes. Consists of 21253 lines, not including the header row.

species_codes.txt -- for the species names. Consists of 224 records, not including the header row.

Oosting_Trees_1998.txt -- for the trees sampled in 1990 and 1998. Consists of 12973 records, not including the header row.

Oosting_env.txt -- for soil and altitude data collected in 1990. Consists of 289 records, not including the header row.


We present a data set collected in 1989 of vascular plant occurrences in overlapping grids of nested plots in the Oosting Natural Area of the Duke Forest, Orange County, North Carolina, USA. The purpose of these data is to allow the study of vascular plant biodiversity at multiple spatial scales, in terms of both grain and extent. There are eight distinct plot sizes (grains), with size four times that of the next smallest, from 0.015625 m2 to 256 m2. Larger grains are possible by aggregating adjacent plots. Extents (linear distances between plots) range from 1m to 362 m. In addition, trees were mapped over the entire 256 m × 256 m study site in 1990, and again in 1998 to assess the effects of Hurricane Fran in September 1996. Tree species, diameters, and damage descriptors (1998 only) were also recorded. Soils were gathered from the entire grid in 1990 and analyzed for nutrients, pH, and organic matter. These data have already been used to assess scale dependence of plant diversity, to evaluate new methods for the study of spatial scale, and to study the importance of spatial scale on the interpretation of hurricane damage to forests. They are presented as a case study for future scale research.

Key words: distance decay; hurricane; North Carolina; soil nutrients; spatial scale; species–area relationships; tree mapping; vascular plants.

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