Stable Isotope Analysis
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<p>This data set provides the photosynthetic pathways for 2428 species recorded across 541 plots surveyed by Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) between 2011 and 2017 (inclusive). TERN survey plots are 1 ha (100 x 100 m) permanently established sites located in a homogeneous area of terrestrial vegetation. At each plot, TERN survey teams record vegetation composition and structural characteristics and collect a range of plant samples using a point-intercept method. Species were assigned a photosynthetic pathway using literature and carbon stable isotope analysis of bulk tissue collected by TERN at the survey plots. </p><p>The data set is comprised of two data tables and one data descriptor that defines the values in the two data tables. The first table contains a list of each species and its photosynthetic pathway. The second table includes a list of all the peer-reviewed sources used to create this data set. </p><p>This data set will be updated on an annual basis as TERN’s plot network expands and new information becomes available. </p>
The dataset contains maps of total % C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub> plant cover, proportional C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub> vegetation (relative to combined C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub> cover), and vegetation δ<sup>13</sup>C isoscape (stable carbon isotope values) across Australia. Data are centered on year 2015. We used vegetation and land-use rasters to categorize grid-cells (100 m<sup>2</sup>) into woody (C<sub>3</sub>), native herbaceous (C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub>), and herbaceous cropland (C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub>) cover. TERN Ecosystem Surveillance field surveys and environmental factors were regressed to predict native C<sub>4</sub> herbaceous cover. These layers were combined and a δ<sup>13</sup>C mixing model was used to calculate site-averaged δ<sup>13</sup>C values.