Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Database

Acceptance and utilization of LTER data requires that:

(1) The Principal Investigator be sent a notice stating reasons for acquiring any data and a description of the publication intentions.
(2) The Principal Investigator of the data set be sent a copy of the report or manuscript prior to submission and be adequately cited in any resultant publications.
(3) A copy of any resultant publications should be sent to:

Principal Investigator
Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Dataset URLs:METADATA: HTML, Rich Text, XML(EML compliant)
DATA: Comma Delimited, Excel file with Metadata and data
Dataset Title:Measurements of the two tallest Phragmites australis stems per five meter interval along transects at the Argilla Rd. salt marsh restoration site (Ipswich) and Rough Meadows reference marsh (Rowley – Stackyard Road area).
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Robert
Last Name:Buchsbaum
Address line 1:Mass Audubon, North Shore
Address line 2:Endicott Regional Center
Address line 3:356 Grapevine Road
Zip Code:01984
Investigator 2: 
First Name:John
Last Name:Catena
Address line 1:National Marine Fisheries Service
Address line 2:
Address line 3:
Zip Code:01930
Investigator 3: 
First Name:Eric
Last Name:Hutchins
Address line 1:National Marine Fisheries Service
Zip Code:01930
Investigator 4: 
First Name:Sean
Last Name:McDermott
Address line 1:National Marine Fisheries Service
Zip Code:01930
Associate Investigators:
Keywords:LTER, PIE, Plum Island Ecosystems, Massachusetts, Phragmites australis, primary production, disturbance, population dynamics, salt marsh, restoration, tidal restriction, invasive species, salt marsh vegetation
Abstract:The file contains measurements of the two tallest Phragmites australis stems per five meter interval along transects at the Argilla Rd. salt marsh restoration site (Ipswich, MA) and Rough Meadows reference marsh (Rowley, MA – Stackyard Road area). The culvert feeding Argilla Marsh was enlarged in late November 1998, thus data from 1999 onward is considered as representing a hydrologically restored marsh.
A long term study not directly part of the PIE LTER, but a companion study related to tidal restrictions and hydrological alterations of salt marshes in the Plum Island ecosystem..
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Online URL:
Data File URL
Beginning Date 6/19/1997
End Date 6/24/2002
Number of Data Records 660
Availability Status Type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description
Log of Changes: Version 01, July 20, 2007 Level 3+ EML using Jim Laundre's Excel program
Version 02, March 12, 2008 Data and metadata update
Version 03, 25Jan2010 keywors update
Version 04: January 17, 2017, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jul2016.xlsm 7/20/16 5:08 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description Argilla Rd. salt marsh is located on land owned by the Trustees of Reservations between Castle Hill and Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA. Rough Meadows salt marsh includes marshes located on the north side of Patmos Road in Rowley, MA. Some sections are part of Massachusetts Audubon’s Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary and additional sections are owned by Dan McHugh.  
Location Bounding Box      
West Bounding Coordinate -70.7759666666667 -70.84675  
East Bounding Coordinate -70.77355 -70.8372  
North Bounding Coordinate 42.69375 42.7509  
South Bounding Coordinate 42.6826166666667 42.7443166666667  
OR if single point location      
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Phragmites australis
Methods:Transect lines laid out as described in LTE-EX-ARGILLA-RM-VEGSTN.xls. There were six transects that contained Phragmites australis in the tidally restricted (Argilla) marsh and nine in the reference (Rough Meadow) marsh. At every five meter interval in which P. australis was present, the two tallest individual stems were measured from the sediment surface to the top of the stem, usually at the tip of its flower cluster.
NOTES AND COMMENTS: This data set includes zeros for years in which P. australis had been present in a 5 meter interval in the restored marsh pre restoration, but no longer was there post restoration.
More than two P australis heights were taken per five m intervals in years after 1999 (post-restoration). These additional data are available upon request.

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Year Year data collected   datetime     YYYY    
Yearcode 1=1997, 2=1998, 3=1999, 4=2000, 5=2001, 6=2002   nominal 1=1997 | 2=1998 | 3=1999 | 4=2000 | 5=2001 | 6=2002        
Site Site where data collected   nominal          
Sitecode 1=Argilla Marsh, 2= Rough Meadow Marsh   nominal 1=Argilla Marsh | 2= Rough Meadow Marsh        
Transect Transect number   nominal          
Interval The beginning of the five meter interval along the transect. Thus “0” would represent the plants from 0-5 m, “5” the plants from 5-10 m, etc. Interval along transect generally ran from the edge of a creek running perpendicular to that creek. meter ratio   real      
Heights The height in cm of either the tallest or second tallest P. australis plants in that five meter interval centimeter ratio   real