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 ID:LTE-MP-LPA-elev_planter.01
Dataset Title:Above- and belowground biomass of S. alterniflora in elevational marsh planter experiments
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Jim
Last Name:Morris
Address line 1:Dept of Biological Sciences
Address line 2:
Address line 3:University of SC
City:Columbia
State:SC
Zip Code:29208
Country:USA
Investigator 2: 
First Name:Karen
Last Name:Sundberg
Address line 1:Baruch Marine Field Laboratory
Address line 3:PO Box 1630
City:Georgetown
State:SC
Zip Code:29442
Country:USA
Associate Investigators:Diana Rodriguez
Keywords:PIE LTER, Plum Island Ecosystems, Massachusetts, Rowley River, primary production, disturbance, aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, marsh elevation, salt marsh, Spartina alterniflora
Abstract:Spartina alterniflora is grown in experimental elevation planters placed in draining ponds on the salt marsh platform. The planters are constructed from PVC pipes of varying lengths. All of the PVC pipes are open at the bottom, and flush to the mudflat surface of the pond, resulting in the tops of the pipes being situated at various relative elevations within the tidal range. Plants growing in the shorter PVC pipes are flooded for a longer duration of each tidal cycle than plants growing in the taller PVC pipes. The growth response of S. alterniflora when exposed to different flood frequencies is monitored by monthly estimates of biomass (determined non-destructively from plant heights) and by destructive 'harvesting' of all above- and belowground plant material at the end of the growing season.
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Email: pie_im@mbl.edu
Online URL: http://ecosystems.mbl.edu/PIE/
DATA FILE INFORMATION:
Data File URL http://ecosystems.mbl.edu/PIE/data/LTE/data/LTE-MP-LPA-elev_planter.csv
Data File Name LTE-MP-LPA-elev_planter
Beginning Date 6/1/2002
End Date 9/1/2013
Number of Data Records 345
Other Files to Reference
Availability Status type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description Collections occur approximately monthly from May through September. Database is updated once annually, usually in the winter. Study and data collection are ongoing as of Sept 2013.
Log of Changes: Version 01, 10Sep2013, metadata and data updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Sep2013.xlsm 9/10/13 12:02 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
 
RESEARCH LOCATION: LTE-MP-LPA_elevplanter01 LTE-MP-LPA_elevplanter02 Site 3
Geographic Description Law's Point on Rowley River, Rowley, MA, site 1 of PIE LTER Spartina alterniflora elevation planter experiment Law's Point on Rowley River, Rowley, MA, site 2 of PIE LTER Spartina alterniflora elevation planter experiment  
Location Bounding Box      
West Bounding Coordinate      
East Bounding Coordinate      
North Bounding Coordinate      
South Bounding Coordinate      
OR if single point location      
Latitude 42.73113 42.763164  
Longitude -70.84262 -70.842534  
Elevation      
       
       
 
TAXONOMIC COVERAGE:
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Spartina alterniflora
 
Methods:Experimental Elevation Planters:
There have been two experimental elevation planters located at Law's Pt. Each planter has 6 replicate pots each of 6 levels. Pots are constructed from varying lengths (in 15-cm increments) of 6" diameter PVC pipe. All of the PVC pipes are open at the bottom, and flush to the mudflat surface of the pond, resulting in the tops of the pipes being situated, step-wise, at various relative elevations within the tidal range. The entire structure resembles a staircase. The six replicate pots at the lowest level of the planters are ~0.5m above MSL. Pots at the highest level of the planters are ~0.1-0.2m above MHHW. Planter A was established at Site#1 in 2002. In 2008 two additional elevations were added to Planter A. Planter A was dismantled after the 2009 experiment. Planter P was established at Site#2 in 2006.

Planting Protocol:
Replicate pots are filled with sediment from the draining pond in which they are situated in either late fall or early spring. Between mid-April and mi-May, plugs of S. alterniflora are collected from the marsh platform near the planter, and transplanted into the pots. Every attempt is made to ensure that all plugs are the same size (surface area and depth) and contain the same number of plants of about the same height. However, often times the natural marsh is not yet well established, and there is variability within the initial plantings. Marsh plugs are approximately 4-5" in diameter and 5-6" in depth. In 2011 marsh plugs were 2" diameter x 6" deep, and in 2013 marsh plugs were 4" diameter x 6" deep.

Monitoring Protocol:
Standing biomass in the replicate pots are estimated approximately monthly in 2002, 2003, 2008-2011 and 2013. The height of each plant (excluding flowers) in each pot is measured and read (along with level and replicate information) into a digital recorder. Plant height data are transcribed into an EXCEL spreadsheet, and processed with FORTRAN algorithms (Morris and Haskin, 1990, Ecology 71(6):2209-2217) to convert plant height to plant weight.

Harvesting Protocol:
At the end of the growing season (mid-Aug to mid-Nov), the planter is 'harvested'. The contents of each replicate pot (live shoots, dead shoots, roots, rhizomes, peat, sediment, dead belowground macro organic matter) are removed from the planter. Shoots are clipped at the sediment surface, sorted into live and dead plants, counted, dried (60C) and weighed. Belowground portions from each pot are seived (2.5mm) to collect all plant material (live and dead), dried (60C) and weighed.

Various monitoring , planting , and harvesting protocols have been used throughout the years to accomodate various experimental goals (e.g. fertilization, plant age, plant species, belowground biomass distribution, substrate type). Only data from untreated, single year replicates of S. alterniflora are included in this dataset. Following are exceptions to the general protocol described above. In 2002, the harvest occured after all plants had senesced, therefore aboveground peak biomass was estimated from July plant height data. In 2002 only half the pots were harvested. In 2003, the harvest occured after all plants had senseced, therefore aboveground peak biomass was estimated from July plant height data. In 2003, only half the pots were 1yr old. In 2005, belowground material was sorted into live and dead, and only live belowground material was retained. In 2006, plant density was not determined. In 2011, a substrate experiment was conducted in the planter; only half the pots were filled with natural (control) sediments collected as described above. Belowground material was seived to 1mm; only live roots and rhizomes were retained. In 2013, plants were not harvested, therefore peak aboveground biomass was estimated from August plant height data.

Elevations of the pots relative to NAVD88 are determined approximately annually by FastStatic measurements using a Trimble 4800 receiver and TSC-1 controller (from UNAVCO www.unavco.org).

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
PLANTER ID current name of sampling station, following naming protocol   nominal A=planter A located at site#1 (LTE-MP-LPA_elevplanter01) | P=planter P located at site#2 (LTE-MP-LPA_elevplanter02)        
YEAR year   datetime     yyyy    
AG DATE date aboveground biomass was collected   datetime     mm/dd/yyyy    
BG DATE date belowground biomass was collected   datetime     mm/dd/yyyy dnc data not collected
LEVEL level of experimental planter   nominal          
REP replicate   nominal          
ELEV NAVD88 elevation of the level relative to NAVD88 centimeter ratio   real      
AGL DENSITY aboveground live plant density numberPerMeterSquared ratio   real   dnc data not collected
AGL BIOMASS aboveground live biomass gramPerMeterSquared ratio   real   dnc data not collected
AGD BIOMASS standing dead biomass gramPerMeterSquared ratio   real   dnc data not collected
BGT BIOMASS total belowground biomass gramPerMeterSquared ratio   real   dnc data not collected