Victorian Alpine Plot Network (ATEX): Vegetation Change and Phenology in Response to Increased Temperature, South-east Highlands, Australia, 2004-2014

Abstract: This data package shows the effects of experimental warming on plants in the Victorian Alpine region between 2004–2014. These data are from the Australian Tundra Experiment (ATEX) which is part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). The data tables consist of a subset of previously published data packages which have been combined to demonstrate the conclusions discussed on pages 188–191 of the book Lindenmayer et al., 2014. Biodiversity and Environemntal Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction (Core Study 4. Climate change experiment in open heathlands/grassland, Bogong High Plains). They also include data which has been collected since the book had been published. This experiment looks at the effects of increasing the near-surface soil temperature by ~1–2°C.

As a consequence, the cover of grasses decreased in cover, while both forbs and shrubs increased in cover. Diversity increased as a result of changes in relative abundance and most growth forms increased in height. The ATEX experiment is locate at four sites on the Bogong High Plains, each site comprising multiple 1 square metre plots. The composition of each plot is sample using point quadrats every second snow-free season. The Victorian Alpine Plot Network research plots are revisited on a biannual basis, though measurements taken during surveys differ from visit to visit. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e. Sampling method: As for Study Extent Description. Study extent: See: Molau U, Mølgaard P (1996) 'International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) Manual.' (Danish Polar Center: Copenhagen, Denmark), https://www.gvsu.edu/itex/library-8.htm Jarrad FC, Wahren C, Williams RJ, Burgman MA (2009) Subalpine plants show short-term positive growth responses to experimental warming and fire. Australian Journal of Botany 57(6), 465-473. Wahren C-H, Camac JS, Jarrad FC, Williams RJ, Papst WA, Hoffmann AA (2013) Experimental warming and long-term vegetation dynamics in an alpine heathland. Australian Journal of Botany 61(1), 36-51. Project funding: Funding for collection of these data prior to 2012 was provided through an Australia Research Council Linkage Grant, partnered through the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), ES Link Services Pty Ltd, Mt Hotham Resort Management and Parks Victoria. These data were curated and published with strategic funds from a TERN initiative to publish long term data packages from the book Lindenmayer et al. 2014 Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction. 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.
Type
collection
Title
Victorian Alpine Plot Network (ATEX): Vegetation Change and Phenology in Response to Increased Temperature, South-east Highlands, Australia, 2004-2014
Alternate Title
Victorian Alpine Plot Network: Vegetation Change And Phenology In Response To Increased Temperature ATEX, 2004-2014
Collection Type
Dataset
Access Privileges
Long Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier
10.25911/5c3ed1b6ceef2
Metadata Language
English
Data Language
English
Brief Description
This data package shows the effects of experimental warming on plants in the Victorian Alpine region between 2004–2014. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e.
Full Description
Abstract: This data package shows the effects of experimental warming on plants in the Victorian Alpine region between 2004–2014. These data are from the Australian Tundra Experiment (ATEX) which is part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). The data tables consist of a subset of previously published data packages which have been combined to demonstrate the conclusions discussed on pages 188–191 of the book Lindenmayer et al., 2014. Biodiversity and Environemntal Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction (Core Study 4. Climate change experiment in open heathlands/grassland, Bogong High Plains). They also include data which has been collected since the book had been published. This experiment looks at the effects of increasing the near-surface soil temperature by ~1–2°C.

As a consequence, the cover of grasses decreased in cover, while both forbs and shrubs increased in cover. Diversity increased as a result of changes in relative abundance and most growth forms increased in height. The ATEX experiment is locate at four sites on the Bogong High Plains, each site comprising multiple 1 square metre plots. The composition of each plot is sample using point quadrats every second snow-free season. The Victorian Alpine Plot Network research plots are revisited on a biannual basis, though measurements taken during surveys differ from visit to visit. A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Victorian Alpine Plot Network’s full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c11c3d283b0e. Sampling method: As for Study Extent Description. Study extent: See: Molau U, Mølgaard P (1996) 'International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) Manual.' (Danish Polar Center: Copenhagen, Denmark), https://www.gvsu.edu/itex/library-8.htm Jarrad FC, Wahren C, Williams RJ, Burgman MA (2009) Subalpine plants show short-term positive growth responses to experimental warming and fire. Australian Journal of Botany 57(6), 465-473. Wahren C-H, Camac JS, Jarrad FC, Williams RJ, Papst WA, Hoffmann AA (2013) Experimental warming and long-term vegetation dynamics in an alpine heathland. Australian Journal of Botany 61(1), 36-51. Project funding: Funding for collection of these data prior to 2012 was provided through an Australia Research Council Linkage Grant, partnered through the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), ES Link Services Pty Ltd, Mt Hotham Resort Management and Parks Victoria. These data were curated and published with strategic funds from a TERN initiative to publish long term data packages from the book Lindenmayer et al. 2014 Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction. 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
1
Plot set-up
Following the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) protocol (Molau and Mølgaard 1996; Jarrad et al. 2009; Wahren et al. 2013), four open-heathland ATEX field sites, two burnt and two unburnt, were established in the Rocky Knobs area (36.90ºS, 147.27ºE) on the Bogong High Plains in 2003. The burnt and unburnt sites were ca. 1.7 km apart while within burn-type, each of the sites were separated by approximately 0.5 km. At each of the two unburnt sites, 26, 1 m2 plots are located along permanently marked transects. Transects are 10 m apart, 50 m long, and are marked with sturdy, red gum end-pegs. At each unburnt site, 13 of the plots are covered by a hexagonal open-topped chamber (OTC; base diameter 168 cm, top diameter 110 cm) and the remaining, control plots are uncovered. At each of the two burnt sites there are 14, 1 m2 plots, seven of which are covered by an OTC, and seven of which are uncovered, controls.
Red gum end-pegs
13 x hexagonal open-topped chambers
2
Hexagonal open-topped chambers (OTCs)
The OTCs, which increase ambient temperatures inside the chambers at these sites by about 2 – 2.5°C, are constructed from lightweight, shatter-resistant fibreglass with high light transmittance (86%) and low transmittance of infra-red (<5%). The OTCs for this project are about 50 cm tall, with 110 cm diameter open-tops, and bases 170 cm wide. This size is large enough to accommodate all species to be monitored, without influencing growth habits or reproductive structures via, e.g. edge effects..
3
Vegetation growth measurements
Every second snow free season vegetative growth is recorded in seven species by measuring of growth amounts and converting measurements into a relative rate (i.e. relative rate of growth = (ti +1 – ti)/ti, where ti = measurement at time i). Measurements of selected species involved leaves of Carex breviculmis, Poa hiemata (Graminiods) and Celmisia pugioniformis, Erigeron bellidioides, and Plantago euryphylla (Forbs), and stems of Asterolasia trymalioides and Pimelea alpina. By using the relative rate of growth, the effect of initial size on measurements is removed. At the beginning of each growing season, plants are selected randomly for monitoring at every sub-plot within all ATEX plots. The first measurements are taken as soon as the snow melts and sites can be accessed in October or November, the second measurements is taken mid-season in January, and the final measurements is taken in March, the end of the active growing season. For the graminoids and C. pugioniformis, leaves are gathered and the longest live leaf is measured to the nearest 0.25cm for three random individuals of each species per plot.
For the forbs, two random leaves on three random individuals of each species per plot are measured for length (from base to tip, excluding petiole) and width (at the widest point) to the nearest 1mm. Older leaves at the base of the rosette are avoided, as they have already grown to their full length. For the shrubs, the lengths of three random new shoots are monitored on three random individuals of each species per plot. The ITEX protocol recommends a variety of vegetative measurements (Molau and Mølgaard 1996), from which a subset of measurements are selected that are appropriate for the species in this study. Further details are in Jarrad et al. (2009).
Contact data provider for more information.
4
Plant species composition
Every second year vegetation is sampled by point quadrats using a 4 mm diameter steel pin, inserted vertically at 10 cm intervals within a grid of 100 points defined by a 1 m2 point-frame. At each point the top, intermediate and bottom species; canopy height; and condition of ground surface (bare soil, attached live or dead vegetation, loose litter) are recorded.
File Descriptions
vatx_grid_height_details_2004-2014_p592t906.csv
descriptionTree heights in ATEX plots
number of records399
pq_date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
pq_plot
definitionPoint quadrat plot identifier
nominal text definitionCharacter
pq_treatment
definitionPoint quadrat treatment
nominal enumeration codes
CTLControl plot (no treatment)
OTCOpen-topped chamber
pqhta
definitionHeight of cover grid corner "A" of quadrant. The four corners A–D are arraged clockwise with corners A and B runing West to East, B and C run North to South, etc., with minor variations to account for terrain.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitmillimeter
pqhtb
definitionHeight of cover grid corner "B" of quadrant. The four corners A–D are arraged clockwise with corners A and B runing West to East, B and C run North to South, etc., with minor variations to account for terrain.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitmillimeter
pqhtc
definitionHeight of cover grid corner "C" of quadrant. The four corners A–D are arraged clockwise with corners A and B runing West to East, B and C run North to South, etc., with minor variations to account for terrain.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitmillimeter
pqhtd
definitionHeight of cover grid corner "D" of quadrant. The four corners A–D are arraged clockwise with corners A and B runing West to East, B and C run North to South, etc., with minor variations to account for terrain.
ratio number typewhole
ratio standard unitmillimeter
site_name
definitionPoint quadrat site
nominal text definitionCharacter
vatx_height_ground_cover_2004-2014_p592t862.csv
column
definitionPoint quadrat column
ordinal text definitionCharacter
comments
definitionComments
nominal text definitionCharacter
descriptionType of ground cover, and the distance from the overlying grid to the top of the vegetation and to the ground.
number of records39739
pq_bottom
definitionDistance from overlying grid (approximately 1 metre above the ground surface) down to the ground surface at this point
ratio number typewhole
ratio precision5
ratio standard unitmillimeter
pq_cover_type
definitionType of ground cover at point
nominal enumeration codes
BGBare ground
BGDBare ground with a dense cover (depends on species, but mostly ≥10 leaves)
BGMBare ground with a medium cover (4 to 9 leaves)
BGSBare ground with a sparse cover (1-3 leaves)
FIXEDLFixed litter
FLLFine loose litter (litter <5 mm thick)
FLLDFine loose litter with a dense cover
FLLMFine loose litter with a medium cover
FLLSFine loose litter with a sparse cover
PROBETemperature sensor
TLLThick loose litter (litter ≥5 mm thick)
TLLDThick loose litter with a dense cover
TLLMThick loose litter with a medium cover
TLLSThick loose litter with a sparse cover
pq_date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
pq_plot
definitionPoint quadrat plot identifier
nominal text definitionCharacter
pq_top
definitionDistance from overlying grid (approximately 1 metre above the ground surface) down to the top of tallest plant at this point
ratio number typeinteger
ratio precision5
ratio standard unitmillimeter
row
definitionPoint quadrat row
ordinal text definitionCharacter
site_name
definitionPoint quadrat site
nominal text definitionCharacter
vatx_species_composition_2004-2014_p592t905.csv
column
definitionPoint quadrat column
ordinal text definitionCharacter
descriptionSpecies composition in ATEX plots
number of records122316
pq_date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
pq_hit_type
definitionOrder of plant
nominal text definitionCharacter
pq_plot
definitionPoint quadrat point
ordinal text definitionCharacter
pq_status
definitionPlant status (alive or dead)
nominal text definitionCharacter
row
definitionPoint quadrat row
ordinal text definitionCharacter
site_name
definitionSite name
nominal text definitionCharacter
species
definitionSpecies recorded
nominal text definitionCharacter
Contact Email
belln@unimelb.edu.au; ary@unimelb.edu.au; r.woodward@unsw.edu.au; chwahren@gmail.com; james.camac@gmail.com; j.morgan@latrobe.edu.au
Contact Address
Bio21 Institute, Departments of Genetics and Zoology University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., 3010 Australia
Contact Phone Number
+61 3 8344 2282; +61 2 9585 6051; +61 400 972 404; +61 3 9479 2226; +61 3 9479 1230; +61 428 810 214
Principal Investigator
Ary Hoffman
Supervisors
Ary Hoffman
Collaborators
Henrick Wahren; James Camac; University of Melbourne; Research Centre for Applied Alpine Ecology, La Trobe University
Fields of Research
0602 - Ecology
Keywords
GCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Vegetation; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Vegetation structure; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Plant species composition; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Plant species abundance; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Individual plants; LTERN Monitoring Theme:Climate change; keyword:Plant phenology; keyword:Australian Tundra Experiment; keyword:ATEX; keyword:International Tundra Experiment; keyword:ITEX; Victorian Alpine; ATEX; Vegetation Change And Phenology In Response To Increased Temperature
Type of Research Activity
Strategic basic research
Date Coverage
2004
2014
Geospatial Location
text
Victorian Alpine Summit, South-east Highlands, Australia
iso19139dcmiBox
northlimit = -36.73575; southlimit = -37.49639; westlimit = 146.41728; eastLimit = 147.40598
Date of data creation
2015-06-25
Year of data publication
2015
Creator(s) for Citation
Ary
Hoffman
Dick
Williams
Henrick
Wahren
James
Camac
John
Morgan
Warwick
Papst
Publisher for Citation
Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), ANU Data Commons, The Australian National University
Publications
isbn
9780643108561
Biodiversity and Environemntal Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction
Lindenmayer et al., 2014. Biodiversity and Environemntal Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction, CSIRO
uri
https://www.gvsu.edu/itex/library-8.htm
International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) Manual
Molau U, Mølgaard P (1996) 'International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) Manual.' (Danish Polar Center: Copenhagen, Denmark), https://www.gvsu.edu/itex/library-8.htm
doi
10.1071/BT09050
Subalpine plants show short-term positive growth responses to experimental warming and fire
Jarrad FC, Wahren C, Williams RJ, Burgman MA (2009) Subalpine plants show short-term positive growth responses to experimental warming and fire. Australian Journal of Botany 57(6), 465-473, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT09050
doi
10.1071/BT12234
Experimental warming and long-term vegetation dynamics in an alpine heathland.
Wahren C-H, Camac JS, Jarrad FC, Williams RJ, Papst WA, Hoffmann AA (2013) Experimental warming and long-term vegetation dynamics in an alpine heathland. Australian Journal of Botany 61(1), 36-51, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT12234
Other Related Identifiers
MorphoId:ltern.200; PackageId:592
Access Rights Type
Open
Rights held in and over the data
Creative 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 Type
CC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Licence
LTERN Deed: 36 Date of execution: 2014-04-30
Retention Period
Indefinitely
Data Management Plan
No
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National University
  • Australian National Data Service
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