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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF044

Land Use on the Southern New England and New York Coasts 1600-2001

Related Publications

Data

Overview

  • Lead: David Foster, Betsy Von Holle, Tim Parshall
  • Investigators: Robert Eberhardt, Brian Hall, Jon Harrod, Dana MacDonald, Glenn Motzkin
  • Contact: David Foster
  • Start date: 1600
  • End date: 2001
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Southern New England Coast, New York Coast
  • Latitude: +40.7 to +42.0
  • Longitude: -74.0 to -70.1
  • Elevation: 0 to 118 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2006
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.44.20
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: physiological ecology, population dynamics and species interactions; regional studies; soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics
  • LTER core area: inorganic nutrients, disturbance
  • Keywords: forest disturbance, land use, soil chemistry, vegetation dynamics
  • Abstract:

    The widespread influence of land use and natural disturbance on population, community, and landscape dynamics and the long-term legacy of disturbance on modern ecosystems requires that a historical, broad-scale perspective become an integral part of modern ecological studies and conservation assessment and planning. In previous studies, the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program has developed an integrated approach of paleoecological and historical reconstruction, meteorological modeling, air photo interpretation, GIS analyses, and field studies of vegetation and soils, to address fundamental ecological questions concerning the rates, direction, and causes of vegetation change, to evaluate controls over modern species and community distributions and landscape patterns, and to provide critical background for conservation and restoration planning. In the current study, we extend this approach to investigate the link between landscape history and the abundance, distribution, and dynamics of species, communities and landscapes of the Cape Cod to Long Island coastal region, including the islands of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island. The study region includes many areas of high conservation priority that are linked geographically, historically, and ecologically. Despite the compelling rationale for examining this coastal region as a whole and for comparing its related, though distinctive geographic areas, an integrated and comprehensive study of the region has never been undertaken.

    We are investigating regional controls over landscape patterns and community distribution and will focus in detail on the dynamics of sandplain communities, including grasslands, heathlands, barrens, and woodlands, which are unique components of this region and high priorities for conservation. In order to determine the historical and modern abundance and distribution of these community types, and to relate these to historical patterns of land use, fire, windstorms and other disturbances, we are developing: (1) GIS-based, spatially explicit maps of land use, land cover, environment, hurricane characteristics, and cultural features across the region for the historical period (17th C to present), (2) pollen and charcoal diagrams for critical areas where data are currently unavailable and an integrated analysis of data from all studies across this region, (3) analysis of the relationship between high priority communities (sandplain grasslands, heathlands, barrens, and related communities), rare species, and disturbance history, (4) revised conceptual ecological models for sandplain communities and recommendations for ecological goals and management approaches.

  • Methods:

    Species List

    The data file lists all taxa recorded in the sample plots. Taxonomy follows Gleason and Cronquist (1991). In general, codes are formed by taking the first four letters of the genus name and the first three letters of the species name. Where this causes confusion, an eight letter code unique to each taxon is used.

    Plot Locations

    Plots are identified by a general location code (2-3 letters) and a plot number (1-999). These two identifiers are also combined into a single six-character code. Because the plots were sampled from a larger set of potential plot locations, plot numbers are not necessarily sequential. Total number of plots = 776 (270 in 1999, 389 in 2000, 117 in 2001).

    Soil Chemistry

    For plots sampled in 1999 (CJ series), the two pairs of 0-15 and 15-30 cm samples were subsampled (1/8 cup per sample) and combined to make a single composite sample representing the plot, which was then sent to Brookside Labs. For plots sampled in 2000, only one set of 0-15 and 15-30 cm samples was collected, and ¼ cup of each was mixed to produce a composite 0-30 cm sample sent for analysis. In some samples, concentrations of certain cations were below the detection limit of the analytical equipment; in these cases, concentrations are listed as “less than x ppm.” Before the soils data can be analyzed quantitatively, these entries will need to be replaced by numerical values. There are no lab soils data for two plots sampled in 2000 (MT 50 and PB 14).

    Plant Cover

    Cover of all vascular plant species rooted within the 20 x 20 m plot (also total lichen and bryophyte cover) was estimated on an eight-point scale.

    Tree Diameters

    Diameters of all live trees at least 2.5 cm dbh and all standing dead stems at least 10 cm dbh were measured in all plots. Only truly arboreal species were measured; shrubs such as scrub oak and viburnum were not, although individuals of these species routinely exceeded 2.5 cm dbh.

    Tree Cores

    One to three cores of the largest sound trees were sampled in plots with trees greater than 5 cm dbh. Cores were taken at 30 cm above the ground. Most cores were mounted, sanded, and counted under a hand lens or microscope. Some cores of young trees were counted in the field and not collected.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). 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.

  • Citation:

    Foster D, Von Holle B, Parshall T. 2006. Land Use on the Southern New England and New York Coasts 1600-2001. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF044.

Detailed Metadata

hf044-01: species list

  1. code: species code
  2. genus: genus name
  3. species: species name
  4. notes: field notes

hf044-02: plot locations

  1. code: location code
  2. location: region
  3. plots: number of plots sampled (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  4. year: year sampled
  5. notes: location description

hf044-03: environment

  1. location: location code (see plot locations)
  2. plot: plot number
  3. code: plot code
  4. x.g83: plot longitude in NAD83 (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  5. y.g83: plot latitude in NAD83 (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  6. date: date of sampling (not entered for 1999 data)
  7. fire: evidence of fire
    • 0: no
    • 1: yes
  8. landuse: provisional land-use classification made in the field
  9. final.landuse: most conservative landuse designation
    • plowed: Clear Ap horizon. Landuse category = cultivated
    • disturbed: A horizon disturbed less than 10cm. Includes sites with non-agricultural soil disturbance, including storm overwash, military disturbance, open dunes, etc. Landuse categories = young dune, disturbed
    • open: No evidence of soil disturbance and historical maps indicated areas that were formerly open. Landuse categories = pasture, open
    • woodlot: No soil disturbance and historical maps indicate closed-canopy forest. Landuse categories = mature dune, woodland
  10. ultimate.landuse: derived by comparing soils and vegetation data with the photos of soil profiles
    • plowed: Clear Ap horizon. Landuse category = cultivated
    • disturbed: A horizon disturbed less than 10cm. Includes sites with non-agricultural soil disturbance, including storm overwash, military disturbance, open dunes, etc. Landuse categories = young dune, disturbed
    • open: No evidence of soil disturbance and historical maps indicated areas that were formerly open. Landuse categories = pasture, open
    • woodlot: No soil disturbance and historical maps indicate closed-canopy forest. Landuse categories = mature dune, woodland
  11. slope: slope position
    • 1: valley/depression
    • 2: lower slope
    • 3: midslope
    • 4: upper slope
    • 5: ridge/crest
    • 99: flat upland
  12. aspect: aspect in degrees. Flat plots with no aspect were arbitrarily assigned 0. (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  13. tsi: terrain shape index calculated following McNab (1989) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  14. lfi: landform index calculated following McNab (1993) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  15. oi.max: depth of top of OI layer above top of mineral soil (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  16. oe.max: depth of top of OE layer above top of mineral soil (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  17. oa.max: depth of top of OA layer above top of mineral soil (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  18. a.max: depth of top of A layer above top of mineral soil (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  19. a.bound: A layer boundary characteristics (abbrev. of USDA terms)
  20. ap: presence of plow layer
    • 0: absent
    • 1: present
  21. e.max: depth of top of E layer above top of mineral soil (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  22. e.bound: e layer boundary characteristics (abbreviations of standard USDA terms)
  23. surf.stone: percent surface stone for entire plot
  24. gravel: percent gravel in face of soil pit
  25. cobble: percent cobble in face of soil pit
  26. stone: percent stone in face of soil pit (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  27. notes: notes. Includes unusual soil profiles.

hf044-04: soil chemistry

  1. code: plot code (see plot locations)
  2. clay: percent clay (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  3. silt: percent silt (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  4. silt.clay: percent silt clay (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  5. sand: percent sand (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  6. tec: total exchange capacity (M.E./100g) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. ph: pH (H20 1:1) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. om: total organic matter (% humus)
  9. s.ppm: soluble sulfur (ppm) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. ee.ppm: easily extractable P in ppm of P (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  11. ca.pct: base saturation % Ca (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  12. mg.pct: base saturation % MG (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  13. k.pct: base saturation % K
  14. na.pct: base saturation % Na (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  15. b.ppm: ppm minor cations
  16. fe.ppm: ppm Fe (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  17. mn.ppm: ppm Mn
  18. cu.ppm: ppm Cu
  19. zn.ppm: ppm Zn
  20. al.ppm: ppm Al (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf044-05: plant cover

  1. plot.code: plot code
  2. species: species code
  3. cover.code: cover code
    • 1: less than 1%
    • 2: 1-3%
    • 3: 3-5%
    • 4: 6-15%
    • 5: 16-25%
    • 6: 26-50%
    • 7: 51-75%
    • 8: more than 75%

hf044-06: tree diameter

  1. location: location code (see plot locations)
  2. plot: plot number
  3. code: plot code
  4. species: species code
  5. tree.id: tree ID number
  6. dbh: diameter (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  7. coppice: coppice
    • N: no
    • Y: yes
  8. dead: dead
    • N: no
    • Y: yes

hf044-07: tree core

  1. location: location code (see plot locations)
  2. plot: plot number
  3. core: core number
  4. species: species code (see species list)
  5. dbh: diameter (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  6. dbh2: diameter 2 (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  7. rings: number of annual rings actually visible. No correction was made for cores that did not intersect the pith. (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. notes: notes