Victorian Alpine Plot Network (Alpine Long Term Monitoring - Community Changes): Vegetation Data, South-east Highlands, Australia, 2012–2013

Typecollection
TitleVictorian Alpine Plot Network (Alpine Long Term Monitoring - Community Changes): Vegetation Data, South-east Highlands, Australia, 2012–2013
Alternate TitleVictorian Alpine Plot Network: Vegetation – Composition Long Term Monitoring - Community Changes, 2012–2013
Collection TypeDataset
Access PrivilegesLong Term Ecological Research Network
DOI - Digital Object Identifier10.25911/5c3ffa7889da3
Metadata LanguageEnglish
Data LanguageEnglish
Brief DescriptionThis Victorian Alpine Plot Network vegetation data package contains vegetation data collected between 2012 and 2013 at a sub-set of the 481 long term monitoring plots which have been established in Australian Alps and in Tasmania.

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 DescriptionAbstract: The Victorian Alpine Plot Network vegetation data package contains vegetation data collected at a sub-set of the 481 long term monitoring plots which have been established in Australian Alps and in Tasmania. The sampling regime within the Victorian Network generally consists of multiple randomly positioned transects within sites, (rather than ‘plots’ sensu stricto), with each site, and/or transect geo-located. Point quadrats are taken at fixed intervals along each transect. The number of transects within sites, and sampling frequency varies from annual to decadal, depending on site and purpose. This general array of sampling transects, point quadrats along transects and floristic quadrats is consistent between grassland and snowpatch monitoring sites, although the number of transects and floristic quadrats needed to detect change in key variables (vegetation cover, bare ground, etc) at each site varies over time. There are also long-term monitoring sites in wetlands.

This is part of a much larger dataset that spans from 1944, when plot were set up to document long-term changes in ecosystem composition and structure in relation to disturbance (see methods for more information).

The Victorian Alpine Plot Network research plots are revisited on a 2-10 years basis.

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 of the Carr and Turner long-term monitoring plots: At the Carr and Turner sites, there are fixed plots, each 05–0.1 ha in area. At the ‘Pretty Valley’ site, there is one plot that has been fenced (and thus ungrazed by livestock) since 1946 (Figure 2.2); adjacent to this plot there is an unfenced plot, grazed by livestock (mainly cattle) from the mid-19th Century until 2005. At the ‘Rocky Valley’ site there is a 4 ha fenced area, which has excluded livestock since 1945-6. Inside there are monitoring plots located in open heathland, closed heathland and snowpatch herbfield vegetation types. There are companion plots, grazed by domestic livestock until 2005, located in equivalent vegetation types outside the fence. There is a total of 8 plots. The four corners of each plot are marked with steel droppers or fence posts, and each is geolocated. Within each plot there are multiple transects, the ends of which are fixed with sturdy 5 cm x 5 cm wooden pegs. The length, number of and distance between transects within plots varied from plot to plot at the time of establishment; this arrangement has been preserved. There are 10-20 transects per plot, each 2- 15 m long, and ca 1-1.5 m apart. Point quadrats were initially taken at intervals of 2 feet (24 inches); sampling interval was converted to 50 cm in 1979. There is a total of 600–1000 point quadrats per plot. Measurements were taken at each plot annually from 1945/6– 1951, then once or twice per decade thereafter (Wahren et al. 1994). There was a full sampling of all plots in 1979, and both Pretty Valley plots have been monitored more or less annually is since 1979, and the Rocky Valley plots every 5 years. The last full sampling of all eight plots was in 2013.

Study extent: Long-term vegetation monitoring sites are a feature of the research and management infrastructure of the Australian alpine region. Sites have been established at various times for various reasons across the mainland Australian Alps and in Tasmania, with the explicit aim of documenting long-term changes in ecosystem composition and structure in relation to disturbance (Carr and Turner 1959a; b; Wimbush and Costin 1979; Wahren et al. 1994; Kirkpatrick and Bridle 1999; Scherrer and Pickering 2005). In the Victorian Alps, monitoring sites were first established in 1944-45 and the number of sites was expanded considerably in the 1970s and 1980s. These sites have been used to document long-term ecological change in relation to disturbance (e.g. livestock grazing; fire) and land use (e.g. nature conservation; ski resort development). Additional sample areas were established on a subset of these sites in 2011, to monitor long-term changes in invertebrates and plant genetic diversity. Following the fires of 1998 and 2003 additional monitoring sites were established to quantify patterns of burning across the alpine landscape, and to monitor post-fire regeneration. The development of our understanding of the ecology of alpine environments, especially our understanding of fundamental ecological processes, has been influenced enormously by data from these long term monitoring sites. The sites will continue to provide valuable data in the coming century as researchers and managers tackle problems such as climate change, potentially novel fire regimes and the increasing abundance of alien plants and animals.

The Victorian Alpine Network of long-term monitoring sites includes:
1) The long-term plots established by Mrs Maise Carr and Prof. John Turner at ‘Rocky Valley’ and ‘Pretty Valley’ on the Bogong High Plains in the 1940s (Carr and Turner 1959b; Wahren et al. 1994). These pioneering plots were established to enable the documentation of long-term changes in select vegetation types. This far-sighted research effort grew out of concerns that arose in the 1930s about the condition of the high mountain catchments, as a consequence of fire and livestock grazing.
2) Monitoring sites established in a variety of vegetation types across the Victorian Alps. These sites were established to allow monitoring of long-term vegetation dynamics at a wider array of grassland sites, and in plant communities that were not sampled by the Carr and Turner plots. These long-term monitoring sites complement the detailed mapping of vegetation communities undertaken by McDougall (1982). At the time the sites were established, cattle grazing was wide-spread across the Victorian Alps, the Alpine National Park was mooted or in its infancy, ski resort development was expanding, and data were needed on long-term vegetation dynamics, and vegetation state or condition in relation to land use.
3) Post-fire monitoring sites established in various vegetation types following the landscape-scale fires of 1998 and 2003. Landscape scale fire is rare in the alpine environment, and these sites were established specifically to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these infrequent events, so that patterns of burning and post-fire regeneration of vegetation could be documented.
4) Additional sampling sites established on a select set of the long term-sites sites on the Bogong High Plains to survey invertebrate diversity and plant genetics. The aim of this suite of sites is to evaluate the effects of climate change on select components of the biodiversity of alpine ecosystems.

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.
Methods

Number
1
Title
Plot set-up
Description
The Victorian Alpine Plot Network (Alpine Long term Monitoring - Community Changes): Vegetation Data Package contains vegetation data collected at a sub-set of the 481 long term monitoring plots which have been established in Australian Alps and in Tasmania. The sampling regime within the Victorian Network generally consists of multiple randomly positioned transects within sites, (rather than ‘plots’ sensu stricto), with each site, and/or transect geo-located. Point quadrats are taken at fixed intervals along each transect. Point quadrats are taken using a 4 mm diameter steel pin inserted vertically into the vegetation. The number of transects within sites, and sampling frequency varies from annual to decadal, depending on site and purpose. This general array of sampling transects, point quadrats along transects and floristic quadrats is consistent between grassland and snowpatch monitoring sites. However, the number of transects and floristic quadrats needed to detect change at each site varies. The optimal number per site has been determined by power analysis to adequately sample the composition and structure of the grassland and snowpatch communities, and detect change in key variables (vegetation cover, bare ground, etc) over time. There are also long-term monitoring sites in wetlands. These include two sites at the head of Middle Creek on the Bogong High Plains.
Establishment of these long-term monitoring sites commenced in the late 1970’s on the Bogong High Plains. In ensuing decades, more sites have been established on the Bogong High Plains, Dargo High Plains and Holmes/Wellington (Wahren et al. 1994; Wahren et al. 1999; Wahren et al. 2001a; Wahren et al. 2001c; Williams et al. 2012; Wahren et al. 2013). Sites have been established in all of the major vegetation types – grasslands, heathlands, snowpatch herbfields and wetlands. In the grasslands, each site is ca. 0.5-1 ha in area, with 10-12 10 m transects per site. Transects are located randomly within sites and point quadrats are taken at 20 cm intervals along each transect. This gives a total of 50 points per 10m transect, and 500-600 points per site. All species touching the pin are recorded, along with the state of the ground surface (whether bare, or covered by litter). At present there are 17 monitoring sites established in grassland on the Bogong High Plains and five at Holmes and Wellington Plains. A similar array of transects within sites has been established at 45 snowpatch herbfields sites across the Bogong High Plains. At each site the sampling regime is the same as for grasslands – 10 x 10 m transects, with 50 point quadrats per transect. Complementary floristic data are also collected at each site from five to fifteen 3 x 2 m quadrats that are randomly located within each snow patch. Quadrat size was determined using species-area relationships for a range of quadrat sizes (0.1-20 metre-squared; (Swengel 2001)). Within each quadrat, all species are identified and the cover of each is estimated visually using the Braun-Blanquet scale (Wahren et al. 2001a).
Swengel A (2001) A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat. Biodiversity & Conservation 10(7), 1141–1169.
Wahren C-HA, Papst WA, Williams RJ (1994) Long-Term Vegetation Change in Relation to Cattle Grazing in Sub-Alpine Grassland and Heathland on the Bogong High-Plains: an Analysis of Vegetation Records From 1945 to 1994. Australian Journal of Botany 42(6), 607–639.
Wahren CH, Williams RJ, Papst WA (2001a) Alpine and Subalpine Snow Patch Vegetation on the Bogong High Plains, SE Australia. Journal of Vegetation Science 12(6), 779–790.
Wahren CHA, Williams RJ, Papst WA (2001c) Vegetation Change and Ecological Processes in Alpine and Subalpine Sphagnum Bogs of the Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 33(3), 357–368.
Williams RJ, Wahren C-H, Shannon JM, Papst WA, Heinze DA, Camac JS (2012) Fire regimes and biodiversity in Victoria’s alpine ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 124(1), 101–109.
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.
Instrument
4 mm diameter steel pin, 50 m tape measure, pencil and notebook


Number
2
Title
Data collection
Description
Transects are located randomly within sites and point quadrats are taken at 20 cm intervals along each transect. This gives a total of 50 points per 10m transect, and 500-600 points per site. All species touching the pin are recorded, along with the state of the ground surface (whether bare, or covered by litter). At present there are 17 monitoring sites established in grassland on the Bogong High Plains and five at Holmes and Wellington Plains. A similar array of transects within sites has been established at 45 snowpatch herbfields sites across the Bogong High Plains. At each site the sampling regime is the same as for grasslands – 10 x 10 m transects, with 50 point quadrats per transect. Complementary floristic data are also collected at each site from five to fifteen 3 x 2 m quadrats that are randomly located within each snow patch. Quadrat size was determined using species-area relationships for a range of quadrat sizes (0.1-20 m2; (Swengel 2001)). Within each quadrat, all species are identified and the cover of each is estimated visually using the Braun-Blanquet scale (Wahren et al. 2001a).
Swengel A (2001) A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat. Biodiversity & Conservation 10(7), 1141-1169.
Wahren CH, Williams RJ, Papst WA (2001a) Alpine and Subalpine Snow Patch Vegetation on the Bogong High Plains, SE Australia. Journal of Vegetation Science 12(6), 779-790.
Instrument
4 mm diameter steel pin, 50 m tape measure, pencil and notebook


File Descriptions

Name
vltm_floristics_p103t592.csv
Description

broad
definitionClass, lifeform and substrate
nominal text definitionCharacter
flora_descriptor
definitionFlora descriptor used to denote species (includes notes relating to groundcover/ subbstrate type)
nominal text definitionCharacter
florcover
definitionBrauna Blanquet cover abundance score
ordinal text definitionCharacter
flordate
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
florlocation
definitionLocation
nominal text definitionCharacter
florquadrat
definitionQuadrat identification number
nominal text definitionCharacter
florsite
definitionSite name
nominal text definitionCharacter
florspecies
definitionSpecies code
nominal text definitionCharacter
genus_and_ground_cover
definitionGenus and substrate/ groundcover type
nominal text definitionCharacter
narrow
definitionLifeform and substrate
nominal text definitionCharacter
plantcommunity
definitionPlant community
nominal text definitionCharacter
species_binomial
definitionScientific name. Where Flora descriptor is not valid scientific name, this is set to NA
nominal text definitionCharacter


Name
vltm_heathlands_2013_p103t416.csv
Description

flora_descriptor
definitionFlora descriptor used to denote species (includes notes relating to groundcover/ subbstrate type)
nominal text definitionCharacter
genus_and_ground_cover
definitionGenus and substrate/ groundcover type
nominal text definitionCharacter
life_form
definitionAngiosperm class and lifeform
nominal text definitionCharacter
plant_community
definitionPlant community
nominal text definitionCharacter
point_distance
definitionDistance along transect
ratio number typereal
ratio standard unitcentimeter
sample_date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
site_name
definitionSite name
nominal text definitionCharacter
species_binomial
definitionScientific name
nominal text definitionCharacter
status
definitionDead/ alive
nominal text definitionCharacter
transect
definitionTransect number
nominal text definitionCharacter


Name
vltm_grassland_and_snowpatch_data_p103t591.csv
Description

flora_descriptor
definitionFlora descriptor used to denote species (includes notes relating to groundcover/ subbstrate type)
nominal text definitionCharacter
genus_and_ground_cover
definitionGenus and substrate/ groundcover type
nominal text definitionCharacter
life_form
definitionClass, lifeform and substrate
nominal text definitionCharacter
plant_community
definitionplant_community
nominal text definitionplant_community
point
definitionPoint quadrat point
nominal text definitionCharacter
sample_date
date time formatYYYY-MM-DD
definitionDate of observation
site_name
definitionsite_name
nominal text definitionsite_name
species_binomial
definitionScientific name. Where Flora descriptor is not valid, scientific names this is set to NA
nominal text definitionCharacter
status
definitionD, L or O. O means OTHER for anything that is not an organisme; e.g. rock, wooden transect peg.
nominal text definitionCharacter
transect
definitiontransect
nominal text definitiontransect


Contact Emailbelln@unimelb.edu.au
ary@unimelb.edu.au
Contact AddressBio21 Institute,
Departments of Genetics and Zoology
University of Melbourne,
Melbourne, Vic., 3010
Australia
Contact Phone Number+61 3 8344 2282
Principal InvestigatorAry Hoffman
SupervisorsAry Hoffman
CollaboratorsWarwick Papst
Henrick Wahren
Richard Williams
Fields of Research0699 - Other Biological Sciences
KeywordsGCMD:Earth Science > Biosphere > Vegetation
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Plant species composition
LTERN Monitoring Theme:Vegetation structure
Victorian Alpine
Long Term Monitoring - Community Changes
Vegetation – Composition
Type of Research ActivityStrategic basic research
Date Coverage
Date FromDate To
20122013
Geospatial Location
Location TypeLocation Value
TextVictorian Alpine Summit, South-east Highlands, Victoria, Australia
DCMI Box notation conformant with iso 19139northlimit = -36.73575; southlimit = -37.49639; westlimit = 146.41728; eastLimit = 147.40598
Date of data creation2014-12-02
Year of data publication2014
Creator(s) for Citation
Given NameSurname
AryHoffman
Publisher for CitationLong Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), ANU Data Commons, The Australian National University
Publications

Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9590012
Publication Title
The ecology of the Bogong High Plains. I. The environmental factors and the grassland communities.
Publication Reference
Carr SGM, Turner JS (1959a) The ecology of the Bogong High Plains. I. The environmental factors and the grassland communities. Australian Journal of Botany 7, 12-33, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9590012


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9590034
Publication Title
The ecology of the Bogong High Plains. II. Fencing experiments in grassland Communities.
Publication Reference
Carr SGM, Turner JS (1959b) The ecology of the Bogong High Plains. II. Fencing experiments in grassland Communities. Australian Journal of Botany 7, 34-63, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9590034


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT98029
Publication Title
Comparative Effects of Stock and Wild Vertebrate Herbivore Grazing on Treeless Subalpine Vegetation, Eastern Central Plateau, Tasmania.
Publication Reference
Kirkpatrick JB, Bridle KL (1999) Comparative Effects of Stock and Wild Vertebrate Herbivore Grazing on Treeless Subalpine Vegetation, Eastern Central Plateau, Tasmania. Australian Journal of Botany 47(6), 817-834, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT98029


Identifier Type
International Standard Book Number
Identifier Value
0724127410 (pbk)
Publication Title
The alpine vegetation of the Bogong High Plains.
Publication Reference
McDougall K (1982) 'The alpine vegetation of the Bogong High Plains.' (Environmental Studies Division, Soil Conservation Authority, Ministry for Conservation: Kew, Vic)


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1023/A:1016683807033
Publication Title
A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat.
Publication Reference
Swengel A (2001) A literature review of insect responses to fire, compared to other conservation managements of open habitat. Biodiversity & Conservation 10(7), 1141–1169, https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016683807033


Identifier Type
Uniform Resource Identifier
Identifier Value
https://epubs.scu.edu.au/tourism_pubs/508/
Publication Title
Recovery of alpine vegetation from grazing and drought: data from long term photoquadrats in Kosciuszko National Park, Australia.
Publication Reference
Scherrer, P & Pickering CM 2005, 'Recovery of alpine vegetation from grazing and drought: data from long term photoquadrats in Kosciuszko National Park, Australia', Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 574-584, https://epubs.scu.edu.au/tourism_pubs/508/


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9940607
Publication Title
Long-Term Vegetation Change in Relation to Cattle Grazing in Sub-Alpine Grassland and Heathland on the Bogong High-Plains: an Analysis of Vegetation Records From 1945 to 1994.
Publication Reference
Wahren C-HA, Papst WA, Williams RJ (1994) Long-Term Vegetation Change in Relation to Cattle Grazing in Sub-Alpine Grassland and Heathland on the Bogong High-Plains: an Analysis of Vegetation Records From 1945 to 1994. Australian Journal of Botany 42(6), 607–639, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9940607


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9790741
Publication Title
rends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. 1. Grazing Trials in the Subalpine Zone, 1957-1971.
Publication Reference
Wimbush D, Costin A (1979) Trends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. 1. Grazing Trials in the Subalpine Zone, 1957-1971. Australian Journal of Botany 27(6), 741-787, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9790741


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9790789
Publication Title
Trends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. II. Subalpine Range Transects, 1959-1978
Publication Reference
Wimbush D, Costin A (1979) Trends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. II. Subalpine Range Transects, 1959-1978. Australian Journal of Botany 27(6), 789-831, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9790789


Identifier Type
Digital Object Identifier
Identifier Value
10.1071/BT9790833
Publication Title
Trends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. III. Alpine Range Transects, 1959-1978.
Publication Reference
Wimbush D, Costin A (1979) Trends in Vegetation at Kosciusko. III. Alpine Range Transects, 1959-1978. Australian Journal of Botany 27(6), 833-871, https://doi.org/10.1071/BT9790833


Other Related IdentifiersMorphoId:ltern2.219
PackageId:103
Access Rights TypeOpen
Rights held in and over the dataCreative Commons Licence (CC BY) is assigned to this data. Details of the licence can be found at http://creativecommons.org.au/licences
Licence TypeCC-BY - Attribution (Version 4)
Retention PeriodIndefinitely
Data Management PlanNo
Status: Published
Published To:
- Australian National University
- Australian National Data Service
Identifier: anudc:5887
Related Items
Files

Estimates:

  • Files: 3
  • Size: 14.8 MB

Data Files

Updated:  07 February 2019/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator