Jervis Bay Booderee National Park Plot Network: Site-level Plot Data Collected During an Assessment of the Ecological and Cost Effectiveness of Invasive Plant Management in Achieving Conservation Goals: a Long-term Experimental Study, 2007-2014
Abstract: This vegetation data package comprises site level plot data collected as part of a controlled and replicated experimental study at Bherwerre Peninsula in Booderee National Park, which is located in the Jervis Bay Territory, Australia. The aim of the study is to estimate the effects of the different sub-treatments of Bitou Bush control methods on the abundance and recruitment of both the target species and native plant species. Sites were stratified into three broad groups, namely sites with no Bitou Bush; sites with Bitou Bush where a control regime of spray-fire-spray and spray-fire-fire was applied and combinations of particular treatments where only part of the treatment regime was applied. Data were collected from four 1 m x 1 m permanent survey plots situated on the 80 m transect on each of our 33 sites. Each site was surveyed on 14 occasions, at different stages of the treatment sequence, so comparisons of no treatment, a partial sequence of treatments, and a full sequence can be made from observations at the same site, resulting in 356 site-survey combinations in total. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Jervis Bay Booderee National Park Plot Network's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c3c070a5ee94 These data were published as a component of the paper Lindenmayer et al., 2015. A Long-Term Experimental Case Study of the Ecological Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Invasive Plant Management in Achieving Conservation Goals: Bitou Bush Control in Booderee National Park in Eastern Australia. PLOS ONE, http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0128482 Sampling method: The study design accounted for several practical realities associated with the control of a weed of national significance in a reserve. First, under the management plan for BNP, all areas infested with Bitou Bush must be subject to some kind of treatment (even if the recommended protocol cannot be fully implemented; see below). This precluded the establishment of control sites where Bitou Bush occurred but remained untreated. However, we included some sites where Bitou Bush had not occurred. These sites were used as controls in assessing the effect of the treatments on native vegetation. Second, the large spatial extent of Bitou Bush infestation on Bherwerre Peninsula meant that it is not possible to spray all affected areas at the same time; even if this was possible, there were insufficient resources to burn all treated areas simultaneously. Third, logistical and human safety issues mean that only some areas received the complete spray-fire-spray regime and others were subject to only parts of it or different combinations of particular treatments. Therefore, all of the sites in our experiment had different treatment histories. Fourth, the recommended spray-fire-spray treatment regime requires several years to be fully implemented at a given site. This meant that because a given site is surveyed many times throughout the duration of the study, it could appear under different treatment sequences according to the progression of particular treatments over time. Fifth, it was not possible to prevent some kinds of other disturbances and in late 2007, a low to moderate severity wildfire burned part of our study area resulting in some sites being burned once by prescribed fire (post-Bitou Bush treatment) and once by a wildfire. Study extent: The effects of different sub-treatments of Bitou Bush control methods on the abundance and recruitment of both the target species and on native plant species are measured. Sites were stratified into three broad groups, namely sites with no Bitou Bush; sites with Bitou Bush where the complete control regime of spray-fire-spray was applied; and sites with Bitou Bush where only part of the treatment regime was applied. Data were collected from four 1 m x 1 m permanent survey plots situated on the 80 m transect on each of our 33 sites, and each site was surveyed on up to 14 occasions, giving 356 site-survey combinations in total. Plot-level mean values are provided for a number of variables. In one observation (1-51), plants were only counted for a subset of the four plots. Those values are denoted as an "*". Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of, and funded through the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) a facility within the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.