Tree and shrub seedlings functional traits from a transplant experiment in Dujiangyan

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Dataset Abstract

Here we present the result from a two-year field experiment in which we transplanted seedlings of 14 woody species representing three contrasting functional types(broad-leaved evergreen, deciduous and coniferous species) along a light gradient into the understory of a subtropical forest in southwestern China. We assessed mortality and measured the growth rate of all transplanted individuals at intervals. To further understand the mechanisms leading to seedling mortality and growth, we examined three functional traits of transplanted individuals (SLA, leaf mass ratio, wood density).

Dataset Design

Seedlings of each species were sown in spring 2007 in a nursery near the field sites. We set up 6 quadrats at each of the two sites along a light gradient. Quadrats 1, 4, 7, 9 and 11 were in low light, quadrats 2, 5, 8 and 12 in high light and quadrats 3, 6 and 10 were in the open (simulating a forest gap). In August 2007, we transplanted four seedlings of each species into each of the 12 quadrats in a random pattern. A field map was drawn for each quadrat to help locating each seedling in the following surveys. We then checked the survival of seedlings two weeks after transplanting and found that all seedlings survived. We revisited each quadrat in March 2008, August 2008, January 2009 and July 2009, documented seedling survival, height and stem diameter (at 2 cm above ground) for all seedlings which were still alive.Light (light availability and quality) and soil factors (water and nutrient content, pH) were quantified in each quadrat.At each census date, after recording survival, the height of surviving seedlings was measured from the ground to the highest shoot tip above ground and the diameter was measured on the stem at 2 cm above ground with calipers. In July 2009, all the surviving seedlings were harvested after all the non-destructive measurements had been taken. In the laboratory, each seedling was separated into leaf, stem and root fractions. Then we measured SLA, WD and LMR.

Spatial Extent

The study was carried out from August 2007 to July 2009 at two forest sites near Dujiangyan, Sichuan, SW China. The prevailing vegetation type is secondary, mixed coniferous and broad-leaved subtropical forest. The climatic conditions are subtropical with a dry winter (November–April) and a warm and rainy summer (May–October). The annual average temperature is 15.2 °C and July average temperature is 25 °C. The mean annual precipitation is 1341 mm and the annual average relative humidity is above 80%.

Temporal Extent

August 2007 to July 2009

Taxonomic Extent

The 14 species studied are commonly found in subtropical forest in Dujiangyan. We included 6 evergreen broad-leaved, 6 deciduous broad-leaved and 2 evergreen coniferous species representing 9 families.

Freeformat files (1)

Data columns available in the raw data part of this dataset

census_helper
census
Data group: Helper
Values
4
5
3
2
1
census
census
Data group: Time series
Keywords: date
Values
census 2
census 5
census 4
census 1
census 3
time
days after the initiation of the experiment
Data group: Exposure time
Keywords: time
Values
720
365
520
0
180
site_helper
site A or B
Data group: Helper
Values
'A'
site
site A or B
Data group: Dujiangyan experimental blocks
Keywords: location
Values
site 'A'
Q_helper
quadrate
Data group: Helper
Values
2
12
1
10
11
Q
quadrate within site
Data group: Dujiangyan experimental blocks
Keywords: location
Values
quadrate 10
quadrate 11
quadrate 2
quadrate 12
quadrate 1
Season
W-winter; S-summer
Data group: Season
Keywords: date, season
Values
winter
summer
year
Year 1, 2 and 3
Data group: Exposure time
Keywords: date
Values
year 3
year 2
year 1
Con
Y-conifer; N-not conifer; Datagroup description: Plant functional group or life form
Data group: Plant functional group or life form
Keywords: functional trait
Values
c
not conifer
ED
E-evergreen; D-deciduous; Datagroup description: Plant functional group or life form
Data group: Plant functional group or life form
Keywords: functional trait
Values
d
e
fam
family
Data group: Plant family name
Values
'Anacardiaceae'
'Araliaceae'
'Fagaceae'
'Alangiaceae'
'Ebenaceae'
sp
species
Data group: Scientific plant species name
Keywords: species, taxon
Values
Choerospondias axillaris
Alangium chinense
Castanea henryi
Camellia oleifera
Aralia chinensis
ind
individual number within plot
Data group: Helper
Values
4
1
2
3
ind2
sequential individual number
Data group: Dujiangyan Individual Identifier
Keywords: object
Values
100
1
102
10
101
N
Nitrogen concentration in the soil
Unit: g/kg
Data group: Nitrogen
Keywords: soil, nitrogen, explanatory
Values
2.41
1.5
1.9
2.2
2.4
C
carbon concentration in the soil
Unit: g/kg
Data group: Carbon
Keywords: soil, carbon, explanatory
Values
19.4
31.52
31.32
30.1
13.7
P
Phosphorus concentration in the soil
Unit: g/kg
Data group: Phosphorus
Keywords: explanatory, phosphorus, soil
Values
0.30000000000000004
0.29
0.36
0.2
0.4
moisture
soil moisture
Unit: %
Data group: Gravimetric water content of soil
Keywords: soil, water content
Values
29.6
34.6
34.1
32.4
29.7
ph
soil PH
Data group: pH value
Keywords: explanatory
Values
4
4.1
4.35
4.5
4.48
par
photosynthetic active radiation
Unit: umol m-2 s-1
Data group: Solar radiation
Keywords: design variable
Values
0.76
0.8
0.82
0.7
0.86
lai
leaf area index
Data group: Leaf Area Index (LAI)
Keywords: explanatory
Values
1.41
1.8
2.13
0.1
1.9
nf
red:far-red ratio; Instrumentation: SKR 660/730
Data group: Light quality
Keywords: explanatory
Values
0.68
0.7
0.71
0.74
0.72
height
seedling height
Unit: cm
Data group: Plant height
Keywords: size, response variable
Values
0.5
0.30000000000000004
0.6000000000000001
0.9
*
iniheight
Initial seedling height
Unit: cm
Data group: Plant height
Keywords: size, response variable
Values
0.6000000000000001
0.5
0.9
0.30000000000000004
*
girth
seedling girth at 1cm
Unit: mm
Data group: Basal diameter
Keywords: size, response variable
Values
0.492
0.81
0.45
0.59
0.34
sv
survival observation (1-alive; 0-dead)
Data group: Living status
Keywords: survival, response variable
Values
1
0
bioR
root biomass
Unit: g
Data group: Above and below ground biomass measurement
Keywords: biomass, response variable, belowground biomass
Values
0.17
0.16
0.19
0.06
0.13
bioS
stem biomass
Unit: g
Data group: Above and below ground biomass measurement
Keywords: biomass, response variable
Values
0.03
0.08
0.04
0.07
0.05
bioL
leaf biomass
Unit: g
Data group: Above and below ground biomass measurement
Keywords: biomass, leaf, response variable
Values
0.03
0.07
0.06
0.02
0.05
Area
leaf area; Instrumentation: LI-3100C Area Meter
Unit: cm2
Data group: Leaf area
Keywords: response variable
Values
100.07
101.13
10.14
101.52
0.11
WD
wood density
Unit: g cm-3
Data group: Wood density
Keywords: response variable
Values
0.016822399999999998
0.052128999999999995
0.0402208
0.0360707
0.0703268
SLA
specific leaf area; Instrumentation: LiCor LAI 2000
Unit: cm2 g-1
Data group: Specific leaf area
Keywords: response variable
Values
101.079
100.515
101.704
104.213
1048.02