Tropical Rainforest Plot Network: Rainforest Tree Demographic Data, Northern Queensland, Australia, 1971-2018

Typecollection
TitleTropical Rainforest Plot Network: Rainforest Tree Demographic Data, Northern Queensland, Australia, 1971-2018
Alternate TitleTropical Rainforest Plot Network: Rainforest Tree Demographic Data, 1971-2018
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesLong Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.25911/5c3d59a44848c
Website Addresshttps://datacommons.anu.edu.au/
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Brief DescriptionThe 1971-2018 Tropical Rainforest Plot Network Rainforest Tree Demographic Data contains stem measurement data from 20 permanent 0.5 ha (100 m x 50 m) rainforest plots in Northern Queensland, Australia. The CSIRO permanent rainforest plots are located within 60 km of the north Queensland coast between Mackay (21.5ºS, 149ºE) and the Iron Range on Cape York Peninsula (12.5ºS, 143ºE).



Full DescriptionAbstract: The 1971-2018 Tropical Rainforest Plot Network Rainforest Tree Demographic Data contains stem measurement data from 20 permanent 0.5 ha (100 m x 50 m) rainforest plots in Northern Queensland, Australia. The CSIRO permanent rainforest plots are located within 60 km of the north Queensland coast between Mackay (21.5ºS, 149ºE) and the Iron Range on Cape York Peninsula (12.5ºS, 143ºE). The plots have a rainfall range of 1200 to 3500 mm, represent eleven vegetation types, six parent materials, and range from 15 m to 1200 m above sea level. Except for minor disturbances associated with selective logging on two plots, the plots were established in old growth forest and all plots have thereafter been protected. Plots were regularly censused and at each census the diameter at breast height (DBH) of all stems ≥10 cm DBH is recorded. Due to the wide geographical range of the plots, no species dominate, although the families Lauraceae, Rutaceae and Myrtaceae contribute a large number of species. The data collected from these 20 plots provides an insight into the floristical composition, structure and long term forest dynamics of Australian tropical rainforests and allows direct comparisons to be made with long-term monitoring plots at a global scale.

For further background data please refer to Bradford, M.G., Murphy, H.T., Ford, A.J., Hogan, D. and Metcalfe, D.J. (2014) "Long-term stem inventory data from tropical rain forest plots in Australia", Ecology, 95(8): 2362. Ecological Archives E095-209-D1, https://doi.org/10.1890/14-0458R.1

A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Tropical Rainforest Plot Network’s full program is https://doi.org/10.25911/5c343f9e98336

Data can be sourced from:CSIRO Permanent Rainforest Plots of North Queensland, http://doi.org/10.4225/08/59475c67be7a4

Sampling method: The 20 CSIRO permanent plots were opportunistically located ahead of logging operations or in areas of no or minor recent disturbance (EP9 and EP38 showed evidence of slight disturbance in a section of the plot due to selective logging at least 20 years prior to establishment). Where possible, plots were located to represent the major forests and geologies of North Queensland. All plots were surveyed to enclose a projected plan view area of 0.5 ha (100 m x 50 m) with plot boundary distances corrected for slope. The resulting plot areas are presented in Table 2. Plot boundaries were surveyed with prismatic compasses, 50 m steel survey band and Abney level. The four plot corners were initially marked with treated wooden pegs and subsequently replaced with steel pickets. All plots were subdivided into 16 subplots (A to P), each 25 m x 12.5 m with permanent wooden subplot markers. A 20 m buffer area around each plot was established to exclude future human disturbance. A canopy tower was located adjacent to both EP4 and EP33 from establishment until 2005 and focussed on canopy sampling and photosynthetic studies. Data from the towers is not included in this data package, but have been included in associated publications. The plots were established between 1971 and 1980 and were initially censused every two years until 1991, and at intervals of 2-15 years thereafter.
Study extentThe study was conducted in the rainforests of North Queensland, Australia between Mackay 21.5ºS, 149ºE and the Iron Range 12.5ºS, 143ºE. The plots span much of the geographical variation in environmental gradients across the study area and represent eleven moist humid tropical vegetation (Tracey, J. G. 1982. The vegetation of the humid tropical region of North Queensland. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.), six parent material types, and range from 15 m to 1200 m asl. The climate is tropical with mean annual rainfall ranging from 1200 mm to over 8000 mm on the higher coastal ranges. Seventeen of the plots are located within the Wet Tropics Bioregion which is broadly composed of closed canopy rainforest and open Eucalyptus forests and woodlands. Continuous areas of rainforest account for approximately 6300 km2 of the region (Tracey 1982 as above) and are found in the wetter and mountainous areas where the rainfall exceeds 1500 mm.

Species References:
- Bostock, P. D., and A. E. Holland (2010). Census of the Queensland flora 2010. Toowoong: Queensland Herbarium.
- Henderson, R.J.F. (ed) (2002). Names and distribution of Queensland plants, algae and lichens. Toowoong: Queensland Herbarium.

Project funding: Commonwealth Forest and Timber Bureau (1971-1978), CSIRO internal funding (1978-1992), Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management and the Rainforest Cooperative Research Centres (1992-2006), Earthwatch (2006).

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.
Methods

Number
1
Title
Plot set-up
Description
The 20 CSIRO permanent plots were opportunistically located ahead of logging operations or in areas of no or minor recent disturbance (EP9 and EP38 showed evidence of slight disturbance in a section of the plot due to selective logging at least 20 years prior to establishment). Where possible, plots were located to represent the major forests and geologies of North Queensland. All plots were surveyed to enclose a projected plan view area of 0.5 ha (100 m x 50 m) with plot boundary distances corrected for slope. Plot boundaries were surveyed with prismatic compasses, 50 m steel survey band and Abney level. The four plot corners were initially marked with treated wooden pegs and subsequently replaced with steel pickets. All plots were subdivided into 16 subplots, each 25 m x 12.5 m with permanent wooden subplot markers. A 20 m buffer area around each plot was established to exclude future human disturbance. A canopy tower was located adjacent to both EP4 and EP33 from establishment until 2005 and focussed on canopy sampling and photosynthetic studies. Data from the towers is not included in this data paper, however, publications resulting from data collected are included in the publications and results section. The plots were established between 1971 and 1980 and were initially censused every two years until 1991. Since 1991 census intervals have ranged between 2-15 years.
Instrument
Plot boundaries were surveyed with prismatic compasses, 50 m steel survey band and Abney level.


Number
2
Title
Census of stems ≥10 cm DBH
Description
At each census, the diameter of all stems ≥10 cm DBH were measured with a diameter tape (Richter 2 m, Yamayo Million 10 m) to the nearest millimetre. Measurements made by the Commonwealth Forest and Timber Bureau at plot establishment followed protocols of Queensland Department of Forestry which are similar to the Smithsonian Institute methodology with two major exceptions, 1) for species known to exhibit buttressing on larger specimens, the point of measurement (POM) was pre-emptively elevated above the predicted buttressing influence. Prior to 1992 this was not always done as the buttressing nature of all species was not known. Subsequently, some point of measurement marks have been raised as buttresses moved their way up stems. In addition, some POM marks were lowered or raised due to deformations on the stem. In these cases only the newly raised or lowered DBH measurement was measured and DBH changed was recorded. 2) point of measurement lines approximately 25 mm wide and perpendicular to the trunk, and an alphanumeric stem code were painted on the stem. Rules of measurement are as follows:
1) Comments were recorded for unusual measurements that may affect the way the data is interpreted: 1 = raised or lowered point of measurement, 2 = broken top above POM, 3 = hollow stem, 4 = dead or damaged part of the stem, 5 = DBH estimated, 6 = large growth increment, 7 = sick stem, 8 = near dead stem, 9 = leaning >45°.
2) Stem diameters were measured in centimetres at breast height from the ground on the uphill side of the stem. Stems with DBH <10 cm were not included.
3) Stems leaning >45 degrees (comment 9) were measured 1.3 m along the stem along the underside of the stem.
4) Vines were pulled away from the stem or the diameter tape was slipped under the vines before measuring where possible. Where there was a reason why no measurement could be made, a visual estimation of the DBH was made (comment 5). This occurred when a stem had immovable vines, a strangler fig, or large and high buttresses.
5) Stems with a swelling or deformity that precludes taking a normal DBH measurement were measured above or below the deformity. If the deformity continued to <1 m above the ground then the measurement was taken above the deformity.
6) Stems with buttresses were measured at least 1 m above the highest buttress. Smaller specimens of particular species that were known to exhibit buttressing when they grow larger were measured at a higher POM to account for future buttressing. In this case the POM was decided on by the team leader.
7) Where the trunk was irregular, damaged, deformed or fluted at all heights, the POM was taken at 1.3 m. A comment of 3 or 4 was recorded for hollow or damaged stem.
8) Stems that forked above 1.3 m were measured below the fork where the stem was not swollen or deformed. Stems that forked below 1.3 m were measured as separate stems, at or close to 1.3 m.
9) Palms were included if the stem was ≥10 cm DBH below the lowest living leaf base.
10) Lianas were measured 1.3 m along the stem after they left the ground. The height of a liana was recorded as the estimated length of the stem and was generally higher than the host stem. Lianas were mapped where they were considered to originate.
11) The diameter of each individual stem (aerial root) of a strangler fig ≥10 cm DBH was measured separately. Over time when these roots merged with each other or the host stem, then the DBH was estimated (comment 5).
Lianas ≥10 cm DBH were not included in the census at establishment, were included selectively from 1987 onwards. Consequently, the 11 stems listed in Table 4 were most likely present as stems ≥10 cm before they were recorded in the database. All other lianas in the database (8 stems) were included in the database as they were recruited into the ≥10 cm DBH size class.
The positions of all stems ≥10 cm DBH were mapped to an accuracy of ±0.5 m. The X coordinate was taken as the projected plan distance in metres along the 100 m axis starting at the subplot A-D outside edge of the plot (Fig. 1). The Y coordinate was taken as the projected plan distance in metres along the 50 m axis starting at the subplot A-M outside edge. Where stems originated within 0.5 m of each other or in a multi-stemmed case, the same coordinates were shared within the same plot.
At establishment, the height of each stem ≥10 cm DBH was estimated. Height estimations were taken as the length of the stem from ground to upmost growing tip. Estimations were regularly validated for highly visible stems using the triangulation method (base distance and slope angle) with a clinometer and measuring tape. Height estimations were repeated in 1998 (2001 at EP37; not repeated at EP31) using the same method with the addition of a laser rangefinder (Newcon Optic 1200, Nikon Forestry 550) to aid in base distance, slope angle and direct height estimations where appropriate. Stems recruited at each census were given a height using the same method.
Stems were numbered using an alphanumeric code representing subplot (A to P) and sequential number within that subplot. This code was painted on the stem either below or above the POM line. Multi-stemmed individuals branching below the POM were numbered by placing a numeral in the ‘hundreds’ before the stem number. For example: in the same subplot, P005, P105 and P205 are separate trunks of the same individual branching at or below 1.3 m.
At each census following establishment, new stems recruiting into the ≥10 cm DBH size class were measured, mapped and assigned a height. All stems ≥10 cm DBH that had died since the last census were noted and no attempt was made to assign a cause of death. Stems that were dead or snapped below the painted POM line were considered dead. The nature and extent of major disturbances (e.g. cyclones, erosion) in each plot were noted and mapped.
Instrument
At each census, the diameter of all stems ≥10 cm DBH were measured with a diameter tape (Richter 2 m, Yamayo Million 10 m) to the nearest millimetre.


File Descriptions

Name
mtrf_tree_demographic_data_1971+_p912t1233.csv
Description

comment
definitionComment on the health of the stem or status of the measurement
nominal text definitionCharacter
comment_label
definitionComment label
nominal text definitionCharacter
coordinates_x_metres
definitionStem position along the 100 m axis
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitmeter
coordinates_y_metres
definitionStem position along the 50 m axis
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitmeter
dbh_centimetres
definitionDiameter of the stem (cm) at breast height (1.3 m) or otherwise as stated in the methods description
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitcentimeter
ep_number
definitionCSIRO experimental plot number
nominal text definitionCharacter
height_metres
definitionHeight of any stem (m) estimated post-establishment
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitmeter
number of records117569
status
definitionDead or Alive at the census shown in variable ‘year’
nominal text definitionCharacter
stem_number
definitionAlphanumeric character assigned to each stem
nominal text definitionCharacter
taxon
definitionFull taxonomic name
nominal text definitionCharacter
year
date time formatYYYY
definitionYear of census


Contact Emaildan.metcalfe@csiro.au
matt.bradford@csiro.au
Contact AddressCSIRO
41 Boggo Road
Dutton Park, QLD, 4102
Australia

Contact Phone Number+61 7 3833 5529
+61 7 4091 8800
+61 427 766 704
Principal InvestigatorDan Metcalfe
SupervisorsDan Metcalfe
CollaboratorsDominic Hogan
Matt G. Bradford
Andrew J. Ford
Helen Murphy
Fields of Research0501 - Ecological Applications
0602 - Ecology
KeywordsGCMD:Earth Science > Biological Classification > Plants
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Vegetation structure
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Plant species composition
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Plant species abundance
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Individual plants
keyword:rainforest
keyword:mortality
keyword:recruitment
keyword:cyclone
keyword:hurricane
keyword:disturbance
keyword:stem growth
keyword:stem height
keyword:permanent plot
keyword:Australia
keyword:biomass
Tropical Rainforest
Rainforest Tree Demographic Data
Type of Research ActivityStrategic basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
19712018
Geospatial Location
Location TypeLocation Value
TextThe CSIRO permanent rainforest plots are located within 60 km of the north Queensland coast between Mackay (21.5ºS, 149ºE) and the Iron Range on Cape York Peninsula (12.5ºS, 143ºE). North-eastern Australia is topographically diverse, and the plots span much of the geographical variation in environmental gradients across the study area. The climate is tropical with mean annual rainfall ranging from 1200 mm to over 8000 mm on the higher coastal ranges. Seventeen of the plots are located within the Wet Tropics Bioregion (sensu Department of Environment 2013) between 19.4ºS, 146.5ºE and 15.7ºS, 145.3ºE.
DCMI Box notation conformant with iso 19139northlimit = -12.74273; southlimit = -21.25266; westlimit = 143.25092; eastLimit = 148.54295
Date of data creation2018-10-26
Year of data publication2018
Creator(s) for Citation
Given NameSurname
DanielMetcalfe
Matt G.Bradford
Publisher for CitationThe Australian National University Data Commons
Publications

Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1890/14-0458R.1
Publication Title
Long‐term stem inventory data from tropical rain forest plots in Australia.
Publication Reference
Bradford, M.G., Murphy, H.T., Ford, A.J., Hogan, D. and Metcalfe, D.J. (2014) "Long-term stem inventory data from tropical rain forest plots in Australia", Ecology, 95(8): 2362. Ecological Archives E095-209-D1, https://doi.org/10.1890/14-0458R.1


Identifier Type

Identifier Value

Publication Title
The vegetation of the humid tropical region of north Queensland.
Publication Reference
Tracey, J.G.; Webb, L.J. The vegetation of the humid tropical region of north Queensland. (Indooroopilly: Queensland Division of Plant Industry). 1975.


Identifier Type
International Standard Book Number
Identifier Value
9781920928193 (pbk)
Publication Title
Census of the Queensland flora 2010
Publication Reference
Bostock, P. D., and A. E. Holland (2010). Census of the Queensland flora 2010. Toowoong: Queensland Herbarium.


Identifier Type
International Standard Book Number
Identifier Value
0734527020 (pbk.)
Publication Title
Names and distribution of Queensland plants, algae and lichens.
Publication Reference
Henderson, R.J.F. (ed) (2002). Names and distribution of Queensland plants, algae and lichens. Toowoong: Queensland Herbarium.


Other Related IdentifiersMorphoId:ltern9.64
PackageId:912
Access RightsRestrictions: To mitigate risks associated with threatened species, LTERN's Policy is to mediate access to spatial data. As such, data publications under these Deeds will be divided into tables containing observation records which will be published open access and spatial data which will be mediated.
Access Rights TypeOpen
Rights held in and over the dataCreative Commons Licence (CC BY- Attribution) is assigned to this data. Details of the licence can be found at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Licence TypeCC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
LicenceLTERN Deed: 20
Date of execution: 2014-07-31
Restrictions: To mitigate risks associated with threatened species, LTERN's Policy is to mediate access to spatial data. As such, data publications under these Deeds will be divided into tables containing observation records which will be published open access and spatial data which will be mediated.

Data Locationhttps://datacommons.anu.edu.au

Retention PeriodIndefinitely
Data Management PlanNo
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National University
- Australian National Data Service
Identifier: anudc:5829
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