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<br>This dataset lists plant species and their abundance identified at rangeland sites across Australia by the TERN Surveillance Monitoring team, using standardised AusPlots methodologies. <br /> <br>Plant occurrences (i.e. a sample of a plant at a particular point and time) are methodically identified at each site as part of the AusPlots Point intercept method. Plant species are identified at each site as part of the AusPlots Vegetation vouchering and Basal Area methods. In addition to site visit date and location, the information provided includes growth form, vegetative height and whether the plant is dead. In-canopy-sky is also recorded if there is no intercept to foliage or branches when viewing the canopy through the densitometer and can be used to calculate species cover or aerial cover. Other recorded information includes dead plants basal area and the number of sampling points. Species identification is updated once confirmed by Herbaria. Plant occurrences data can be aggregated across the site to calculate relative species abundance, green ground cover, species- growth form- and -community-level basal area.<br /> <br>In addition, at least one specimen is taken from each species at the site, assigned a barcode and provided for vouchering and further analyses. See AusPlots Rangelands Vocabularies for a list of parameters collected. </br>
This dataset contains information on vegetation at a set of field sites along with associated environmental data extracted from spatial layers and selected ecological statistics. Measurements of vascular plants include species, growth form, height and cover from 1010 point intercepts per plot as well as systematically recorded absences, which are useful for predictive modelling and validation of remote sensing applications. The derived cover estimates are robust and repeatable, allowing comparisons among environments and detection of modest change. The field plots span a rainfall gradient of 129-1437 mm Mean Annual Precipitation ranging from aseasonal to highly seasonal. The dataset consists of a processed version the AusPlots Rangelands dataset with three components: 1) a site table with locality, environmental and summary ecology statistics for each plot; 2) a set of compiled point intercept records identified by individual hits, site visits and plots and; 3) a processed species percent cover against site/visit matrix for ecological analysis. The data have re-use potential for studies on vegetation properties in the Australian rangelands or as a species presence/absence dataset for testing ecological models. The dataset also provides opportunities for generic application such as testing community ecology theories or developing or demonstrating community ecology software, whether using the raw point by point intercept data or the derived percent cover matrix.
<p> AusPlots is a collection of ecological data and samples gathered from a network of plots and transects across Australia by the TERN Surveillance Monitoring team, using standardised methodologies. </p> <p>The AusPlots collection provides the ecological infrastructure to: </p> <ul><li>quantify the richness and cover of plant species (including weeds); </li><li>quantify the diversity and abundance of soil biodiversity; </li><li>assess the state, spatial heterogeneity and structural complexity of vegetation, including life-stage; </li><li>record vegetation and soil parameters that assist with the validation of remotely sensed ecological products;</li><li>analyse vegetation structure and change based on a series of photo reference images; </li><li>better estimate soil carbon and nutrient stocks; </li><li>conduct taxonomic validation studies based on collected plant voucher specimens; </li><li>conduct DNA barcoding and population genetic profiling based on collected tissue samples. </li></ul> <p> Overall this information will progress understanding of ecosystem processes, structure and function, and more generally progress understanding of the response to disturbance and longer-term environmental change of rangeland ecosystems, which underpins sustainable management practice.</p>.