Decomposcape (general): tree height data, Main Experiment, Site A

Usage Rights

This data is Free within projects.

SP5; Acknowledgement: Mr. Qi

Dataset Abstract

For the “decomposcape” approach, a total of 4131 litter bags were filled with single-species litter of Osmanthus fragrans, Pinus massoniana and Schima superba, respectively. These bags have been fixed on the soil surface across both field sites. The positioning of the litter bags differ in topographic features, and in the diversity of the newly planted tree species. By studying the litter decomposition dynamics over time, we will thus quantify the effects of topography, micro-relief, micro climate and plot tree diversity on decomposition dynamics. The study is part of the "Ecoscape approach". This dataset contains information about the trees around the leaf decomposition plots (species name, height and position).

Dataset Design

Polyester bags (15 x 15 cm, 1 x 1.5 mm mesh size, 5 g litter) were used to determine the mass loss of the leaves of three local tree species: Schima superba (collected in autumn 2010 in a secondary forest near the experimental sites), Pinus massoniana and Osmanthus fragrans (both collected in a monoculture plantation near the experimental sites). The leaves were dried at 65°C for 24 hours.
We exposed the litterbags at three positions (suplots) within the 35 different tree diversity plots and their corresponding replicates at both sites of the “Main Experiment”. Per subplot, three litterbags of each species were randomized and pinned directly onto the soil after removing the herb layer. Thus, a total of 3780 litterbags were deposited on 420 subplots across two sites. Additionally, a 25 cm wide frame of water permeable plastic fabric was pinned around the litterbag square to avoid weeds from growing into the subplots. After two, six and eleven months, one bag per litter species was sampled per subplot to determine the remaining dry mass of the leaves after cleaning.
For the topographic components we measured the inclination, aspect and soil-shape on each subplot. To calculate the microclimatic parameters, air humidity and temperature were measured with onset®,HOBO® Pro v2 data logger (Onset Computer Corporation, Bourne, USA) every 30 min on one subplot per diversity level. Additionally, soil moisture measurements were conducted once a month with a ThetaProbe ML2x FD-Sonde and Infield7 handheld meter (UMS GmbH Munich, Germany). We recorded the position (for those with metal tags) of the trees around the plots as well their height and species name.

Spatial Extent

Main Experiment, Site A

Temporal Extent


Taxonomic Extent

All site A VIP plot tree species

Data Analysis

Tree height was determined with a bamboo stick which was marked at a height of 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 cm. Tree species were recorded acordingt to the species identification aid for the main experiment.