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field_methods:plant_species_inventory [2014/01/29 17:58]
field_methods:plant_species_inventory [2014/01/30 18:25]
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 from the USDA-ARS //​Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems//​ from the USDA-ARS //​Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems//​
-===== Introduction ​===== +===== Description ​===== 
-A plot-level species inventory ​provides ​a rapid estimate ​of species richness.  ​A thorough search of the plot can detect less-frequently occurring species that may not have been recorded ​in cover measurements (e.g., [[field_methods:​line_point_intercept|Line-point intercept]]).  ​For a more intensive ​species ​richness measurementsee the [[field_methods:​species_richness_-_modified_whitaker_approach|modified Whitaker ​species ​richness approach]]. +A plot level species inventory ​is intended to provide ​a rapid appraisal ​of the floral biodiversity of an area.  ​Species level inventory occurs ​in conjunction with other survey methods such as line-point intercept transect survey, which quantitatively measures soil cover and plant canopy ​cover. ​ The same plots developed for the line-point intercept ​inventory are used in the species level inventory.  ​If the species ​inventory is part of a National Resources Inventory (NRI) surveywhich primarily focuses on tracking ​the encroachment of invasive ​species ​on private rangeland, the plots should be divided into sections with an area of 1,641 m2 to ensure compatibility. ​ A single observer systematically and uniformly searches the entire plot for 15 minutes.
-===== Materials Required =====+
-  * Measuring tapes (transect lengths) +Each of the these plot layouts achieve an area of 1,641 m2 as part of an NRI survey.  ​The dashed lines represent paths walked by the observer.
-  * Stopwatch +
-  * Pin flags to mark unknown plants +
-  * Plant identification keys and books +
-  * Four 1.5 m (5 ft) PVC pipes (optional) +
-  * Compass +
-  * Electronic device for paperless data collection (preferred) OR clipboard, Species Inventory Data Sheet (available in Appendix B of the //​Monitoring Manual//), and pencil(s)+
-===== Standard Method ​===== +===== Advantages and Limitations ​=====      
-== 1. Set up the species inventory plot.==+This method is a compromise between ​the more thorough yet time intensive modified Whitaker ​species ​richness approach and the more approximate estimates of biodiversity achieved through canopy level inventories,​ which often fail to accurately account for the presence of rare or invasive species. ​ A high level of plant identification competence is necessary to efficiently ​inventory ​plot.  ​Unknown species are flagged as such during the inventory and are later identified, which can obviate the time saving achieved through the 15 minute time limit placed on observation.  ​
-The species inventory ​area is within at least a portion of the area covered by the Line-point intercept ​transects +===== Related Methods =====  
-  square or rectangular sub-plot shape created by connecting ​the ends of the plot transects is recommended for a systematic species search (Figure 32a). Lay out the transect tape on at least one side of the square or rectangle to define the sub-plot boundaries so that the data recorder can see the boundaries within which to conduct the reconnaissance for species inventory. Record both the size and shape of the plot searched. +As stated earlier, a species ​level inventory is used in association with other inventory methods such as the line-point intercept ​transect survey or cover estimates.  A complete census enumerates ​the entire population eliminating sampling error, but at the expense ​of considerable investment in resources.  ​Often only invasive or rare species ​are enumerated
-  * Optional: For compatibility with NRI, the cumulative ​species ​inventory plot area is 1,641 m<​sup>​2</​sup>​ (17, 662 ft2) (Figure 32c). +
-  * Always inventory the same plot area for all plots within a project and for repeat visits to plots+
-== 2. Systematically ​and uniformly search the entire plot for 15 minutes. ​== +===== Data Entry and Management ​=====    
-  ​* Area is searched by one individualalthough a recorder may stand off-plot to record dataDo not re-search any areas already searched.  +Electronic record keeping is recommended. ​ The Database for InventoryMonitoring & Assessment (DIMA) contains can be downloaded as an MS Access database here.  ​It is compatible with PDAs and tablets.  ​Alternatively,​ a paper version ​of the species inventory form can printed from the Monitoring Manual for GrasslandShrubland ​and Savanna Ecosystems.
-  * Area search occurs after Vegetation height, Line-point, ​and Gap intercept measurements on transects are complete +
-  * Work from the corners ​of the plot toward ​the sub-plot center in a systematic, or zig-zag search pattern (Figure 32). If external boundary tapes are not used, it may be helpful to attach a PVC pipe to the end of each transect to identify plot corners, and then use compass bearings to ensure position within the sub-plot+
-{{:​field_methods:​plant_species_inv.png}}\\ +===== References =====  
-**Figure 32Three species inventory plot layout options to achieve an area of 1,641 m<​sup>​2<​/sup>: a) a single square species inventory plot with a side of 40.5 m (132.9 ft), b) three 10.9 (35.7 ft) x 50 m (164 ft) rectangular sub-plots, and c) a 22.9 m (75 ft) radius, circular plotDashed lines represent the path walked by the observer.**+  Elzinga et al. 2001. //Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations//​. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. (Elzinga et al2001[[http://​​nstc/​library/​pdf/​MeasAndMon.pdf]]
-== 3. Record each species found within the plot. ==  +  ​USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range. (2014). //Monitoring Manual for GrasslandShrubland ​and Savanna Ecosystems//​Volume I: Core Methods2nd Edpp54-5675http://​​manuals/​monitoring.
-  ​At least 50% of a plant base must be rooted inside the plot boundary to be recorded +
-  * Record each species found within the plot in the "​Species"​ column of the data sheet using (aa national standard species code (in the U.S. use the PLANTS - database scientific name or (c) common name.  Each species is listed only one time. +
-  * Mark unknown plant species with a pin flag and return to identify them after the search time has expired Do not spend any of the 15 minute search time deliberating about species identification,​ or looking through plant species lists or books to identify unknowns ​Assign a personal, temporary ID to questionable plants if necessary (e.g., "​Yellow Aster 1", "​Yellow Aster 2", "​Spikey grass",​ "Black stemmed shrub",​ etc.), and write out their full identifications after the 15 minute search period to save time If field identification is not possible, take geo¬tagged (except for NRI) photographs of the unknown plant Be sure to include a photo ID card in the photo. ​ If possible, collect and press a plant specimen from nearby, but off-plot, for later identification (see Plant Identification,​ page 14) This specimen needs to include as many potentially identi¬fying elements as possible, including leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits.  +
-  * If species is not known, use the following codes and add sequential numbers as necessary: ​+
-**AF#** = Annual forb (also includes biennials) \\ +  ​* USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range. (n.d). Database ​for InventoryMonitoring & Assessment (DIMA). http://​​monit-assess/​dima.
-**PF#** = Perennial forb \\ +
-**PG#** = Perennial graminoid \\ +
-**SH#** = Shrub \\ +
-**TR#** = Tree \\ +
- +
-===== Quality Assurance Checklist ===== +
-  * Each data sheet is complete. Observer, recorder, date, plot name, sub-plot area, sub-plot shape, and search time are recorded.  +
-  * Unknown plants are described according to unknown plant protocols, photographed,​ and a specimen collected when possible.  +
-  * Data collection team confirms species list is complete and correct.  +
-  * Number and type of species are consistent with plot observations.  +
-  * Boundaries of search area are clearly marked.  +
-  * A recorder, in addition to recording species, can also ensure the observer is moving through the plot quickly enough to cover the entire search area in 15 minutes.  +
- +
-===== Species Inventory Indicator Calculations ===== +
- +
-== 1. Count the total number of species recorded. == +
-  * Only count each species once.  +
-  *  Count every plant species, even if its identification is unknown (e.g., PG01, PG02).  +
-  * Only include species recorded in other methods (e.g., Line-point intercept, Vegetation height) if (a) they were also captured during the species inventory or (b) the transects are wholly contained within the species inventory sub-plot.  +
- +
-== 2. Determine functional groups (e.g., shrubs, perennial grasses). Record the number of species in each functional group. == +
- +
-== 3. Identify potential species of management concern for the plot and record presence or absence of these species. ==  +
- +
-===== Vegetation Height Indicator Calculations ===== +
-Species inventories detect the presence of rare or invasive species which may not be detected by cover or density measurements along transects due to their infrequent occurrence, rarity, or recent establishment. ​ This method can identify areas where additional plant surveys are needed. ​ A plot-level species inventory also provides information on species richness, one indicator of biodiversity. ​ Plot biodiversity indicators must be evaluated within the context of the ecological potential of the plot (e.g., as defined by an ecological site description). ​ Consequently species richness, like bare ground and other indicators, cannot be directly compared among sites with different soils and climate.  +
- +
-Ecological heterogeneity can also affect richness: a plot that spans several soil types will likely have higher biodiversity than a plot located on a single soil.  Similarly, a plot that includes several ecological states on the same or different soils is likely to have more species. ​ Species richness may even be higher in a somewhat disturbed or degraded state than in an undegraded state as invasives colonize, but do not entirely replace species native to the area.  Within-plot comparisons over time must be carefully interpreted for the same reasons.  +
- +
-Consequently,​ caution should be used when comparing plots using species richness as an indicator of site biodiversity. ​ Interpretation of species richness should always be made in an ecological context together with indicators derived from [[field_methods:​line_point_intercept|Line-point intercept]],​ [[field_methods:​basal_gap_intercept|Gap intercept]],​ and [[field_methods:​soil_stability|Soil stability]].  +
- +
-===== Manual ===== +
-  ​* USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range. (2014). //​Monitoring Manual ​for GrasslandShrubland and Savanna Ecosystems//​. Volume I: Core Methods. 2nd Ed. pp. 54-56. http://​​monit-assess/​manuals/​monitoring+
 ===== Discussion/​Comments ===== ===== Discussion/​Comments =====
field_methods/plant_species_inventory.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/30 19:34 by jgh