BEFmod: Herb layer composition within the integrated BEFmod experiment (C, P, NW) - Site B

Usage Rights

This data is Private.

Dataset Abstract

In forests, the herbaceous understory vegetation plays an important role for ecosystem functioning as it represents a significant component of total aboveground productivity. In addition, the herb layer contributes to overall forest species richness and controls tree species regeneration. Vice versa, trees in the overstory control understory herb and shrub growth through competition for resources. Using an experimental forest plantation with manipulated tree richness we asked to which degree tree species richness and identity affect herb layer composition, richness and productivity and how these relationships across strata change with abiotic environmental conditions and competition intensity.

In the context of the Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning project in subtropical China (BEF-China), we made use of the integrated BEFmod experiment arranged along a tree species richness gradient at two sites, with additional subplot treatments of phosphorus addition, herb layer weeding and no weeding. We recorded the understory vegetation and determined herb layer biomass production on a total of 201 subplots.

Dataset Design

In all plots in BEF-China (including C, P, F and I treatment) the herb layer has been continuously weeded twice a year, (since 2009 and 2010, for site A and site B, respectively) and since 2014 once a year on both sites to increase the establishment of planted trees. In each VIP, subplots were subjected to a manipulation of resource supply and biotic interactions (BEFmod experiment), which started in 2014. On the northern edge of each VIP, 5 subplots were established, each measuring 5.16 x 5.16 m and containing 4 × 4 trees. Subplots were randomly assigned to five different treatments: “No weeding“ (NW, i.e., admitting all types of weeds, already established in 2011), “Phosphorus fertilization” (P, i.e., applying 40 g triple super phosphate (H2PO4)2 per tree, corresponding to 100 kg P/ha once in April 2014), and “Control” (C, i.e., weeding as on the total plot level together with monthly H2O application). The BEFmod comprises two further treatments (F, i.e. Fungicide application, and I, i.e. Insecticide application), which we do not refer to in the present study. Herb layer data were collected in the NW, P and C treatments.

Herb layer species composition was recorded in 33 and 34 VIPs at site A and B, respectively, (three plots had to be omitted for accidental weeding and due to missing environmental data leading to 201 sublots in total). All herb layer species were identified and cover was estimated separately for each species. The herb layer was defined as all vascular plants including herbaceous species, climbers, ferns as well all woody seedlings and saplings with < 1.0 m height.

Spatial Extent

VIP Plots of the main experiment on Site B

Paper proposal submissions

Published

2016

Data columns available in the raw data part of this dataset

PTAG
Research plots on the main experiment have a "p" in front of their IDs and then a 6 digit code: Plots in the main sites A and B are named according to their position in the original spreadsheet, in which they were designed. They consist of 6 digits: _1st digit_: Site (1:A, 2:B), _digit 2and3_: southwards row: as in spreadsheets the rows are named from the top to the bottom; _digit 4 and 5_: westward column: as in the original spreadsheet, but the letters are converted to numbers (A=01, B=02); _6th digit_: indicator, if the plot has been shifted a quarter mu. Example: "p205260": "p" means that this is a plot that is specified. "2" means, that we are at site B. Now the coordinates of the south - west corner: "0526". Since "e" is the fifth letter of the alphabet, this is Plot E26. The last digit "0" means that this plot was not moved by a quarter of a Mu, as some sites in Site A. The 6th digit can also indicate the subplot within the plot. "5", "6", "7", "8" indicate the northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest quarter plot respectively.
Data group: BEF research plot name
Keywords: VIP plots, plot
Values
p210290
p204290
p207280
p206260
p209250
Plot
Plot number on Site B; VIPs and each 1 mu replicate on Site B
Data group: Helper
Keywords: Main Experiment, plot, Site B
Values
J29
G28
D29
F26
I25
treatment
treatment of each subplot: C-Controll; P-Phosphorus fertilization; NW-No weeding
Data group: BEFmod subplots treatment
Keywords: treatment, BEFmod
Values
C
NW
P
date
date for vegetation assessment from 2014-08-11 till 2014-09-08
Data group: Date time information
Keywords: date
Values
02.09.2014
01.09.2014
06.09.2014
04.09.2014
05.09.2014
species
species identity of the herb layer community by Subplot; The scientific species fullnames are based on the "Flora of China" identified by Markus Germany.
Data group: Scientific plant species name
Keywords: herb layer, species
Values
Adinandra millettii
Actinidia eriantha
Actinidia chinensis
Achyranthes bidentata
Akebia trifoliata
lifeform
lifeform of each species: herb; wood; fern; grass
Data group: Plant functional group or life form
Keywords: functional group
Values
h
fern
wood
grass
cover
cover of species in the herb layer community by subplot; Total cover of herb layer species estimated to 0.1 percent per survey plot
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: herb layer, vegetation cover
Values
0.5
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.4
cover_f
Estimated total cover of ferns per subplot
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: vegetation cover, ferns
Values
1
10
15
12
2
cover_w
Estimated total cover of woods (< 1m in hight) per subplot
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: vegetation cover, woods
Values
15
20
12
10
25
cover_g
Estimated total cover of grass per subplot
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: vegetation cover, grass
Values
10
0
0.5
100
1
cover_h
Estimated total cover of herbs per subplot
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: herbs, vegetation cover
Values
0.2
0
0.1
0.3
0.5
cover_total
Estimated total cover of the herb layer
Unit: percent
Data group: Vegetation layer cover
Keywords: herb layer, herbs performance
Values
100
50
75
70
60
mean_height_f
Estimated mean height of ferns
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, ferns performance
Values
10
130
120
100
15
mean_height_w
estimated mean height of woods (including woods > 1m)
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, woods performance
Values
100
120
150
130
160
mean_height_g
Estimated mean height of grass
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, grass performance
Values
100
0
140
130
120
mean_height_h
Estimated mean height of herbs
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, herbs performance
Values
100
0
10
15
1
max_height_f
Estimated max height of ferns
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, ferns performance
Values
130
100
140
120
110
max_height_w
Estimated max hight of woods (including woods > 1m)
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, woods performance
Values
110
120
100
150
130
max_height_g
Estimated max height of grass
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, grass performance
Values
10
100
110
0
120
max_height_h
Estimated max height of herbs
Unit: centimeter
Data group: Functional group height
Keywords: height, herbs performance
Values
0
120
10
100
130
herb_r
recorded herb species richness, taxonomic biodiversity; Taxon diversity can be given as species richness, or other diversity indices.
Unit: count
Data group: Taxonomic biodiversity
Keywords: biodiversity, Main Experiment
Values
14
16
15
17
11