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-TIDE-MarshPlantShootStats.03
Dataset Title:Marsh plant species shoot height, weight and diameters for Rowley River tidal creeks associated with long term fertilization experiments, Rowley and Ipswich, MA.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Linda
Last Name:Deegan
Address line 1:The Ecosystems Center
Address line 2:Marine Biological Laboratory
Address line 3:7 MBL St.
City:Woods Hole
Zip Code:02543
Investigator 2: 
First Name:R. Scott
Last Name:Warren
Address line 1:Connecticut College
Address line 2:Department of Botany
Address line 3:270 Mohegan Ave.
City:New London
Zip Code:06320
Associate Investigators:David Johson, Erik Yando, Chris Haight
Keywords:PIE LTER, TIDE, primary production, nutrients, percent cover salt marsh, creek, Spartina, fertilization
Abstract:Marsh plant species shoot height, weight and diameters for Rowley River tidal creeks associated with long term fertilization experiments, Rowley and Ipswich, MA. The TIDE project aims to simulate eutrophication on a large scale by the addition of NO3- aiming to reach 70ÁM concentrations from May to September every year during the growing season. This fertilization of the marsh has been going on at Sweeney Creek since the 2004 growing season through 2012 and at Clubhead Creek in 2005 and from 2009 till 2012.
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
Data File Name LTE-TIDE-MarshPlantShootStats
Beginning Date 8/1/2004
End Date 8/30/2012
Number of Data Records 15285
Other Files to Reference
Availability Status Type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description
Log of Changes: Version 01: January 27, 2012, updated data and metadata. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 1/27/12 4:35 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 02: September 21, 2012, updated data and metadata. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/23/12 12:08 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 03: June 20, 2013 data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Research location name and description updated.Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/14/13 12:02 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description "Sweeney Creek", off Rowley River, Ipswich, MA West Creek, off Rowley River, Rowley, MA. Clubhead Creek off Rowley River, Rowley, MA. Nelson Island Creek, off Rowley River, Rowley,  
Location Bounding Box          
West Bounding Coordinate -70.851 -70.852 -70.842 -70.836  
East Bounding Coordinate -70.845 -70.846 -70.836 -70.831  
North Bounding Coordinate 42.724 42.741 42.742 42.744  
South Bounding Coordinate 42.719 42.736 42.738 42.74  
OR if single point location          
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Spartina patens, Spartina alterniflora, Distichlis spicata
Methods: At the end of every season a relative estimate is taken in order to better understand the productivity of the system in various species. Four of the main salt marsh plant species were focused on, Spartina alterniflora (tall and short forms) , Distichlis spicata, and Spartina patens. Along each branch 25 plants are randomly collected on transects that run perpendicularly from the creek bank, either 3 and 4 transects were utilized dependent on the year. The data set includes production values of shoot height, shoot mass, shoot specific mass, and shoot diameter (all described below) for August (end of growing season) from 2004 to 2012 .

TSA- Spartina alterniflora (tall form)
SSA- Spartina alterniflora (short form)
DS- Distichlis spicata
SP- Spartina patens

Reference creeks are West and Nelson
Nutrient Enriched creeks are Sweeney and Clubhead. Sweeney has been fertilized every summer from 2004-2012 Clubhead had been fertilized in 2005 and then from 2009-2012.
Shoot height- length of shoot from base to tip including all leaves and flowers measure in centimeters(cm)
Shoot mass- dry massof shoot measured in grams (g)
Shoot specific mass- dry weight of shoot (g) per centimer of shoot length (cm)
Shoot diameter- width of widest part of the stem (mm)

All creeks have 2 branches (left and right) determined by remaining at confluence of branches and facing upland areas.

Plant transects run perpendicular to creeks at various points with a front pole at the creek bank and a back pole an the high marsh. Transects are in the order of 1, 2, 4, 3 or blue, green, red, yellow from confluence of branch.

*-Shoot diameter measurements are listed for TSA stems 2008-2012 and for SSA 2008

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Year Year sample was collected   datetime     yyyy NA NA = not available
Species Name of Species collected   nominal TSA=Spartina alterniflora (tall form)| SSA= Spartina alterniflora (short form)| DS= Distichlis spicata| SP= Spartina patens     NA NA = not available
Creek Name of Tidal Creek   nominal Sweeney= Nutrient Enriched |Nelson= Nutrient Enriched| West= Reference| Clubhead= Reference     NA NA = not available
Branch Branch of Creek   nominal       NA NA = not available
Transect Plant transect   nominal 1=Transect 1 |2= Transect 2|3= Transect 3|4= Transect 4     NA NA = not available
Shoot Height Length of shoots (cm) centimeter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Shoot Mass dry mass of shoot (g) gram ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Shoot-specific Mass mass of shoot (g) per centimeter of shoot (cm) gramPerCentimeter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Stem Diameter diameter of shoot at widest point millimeter ratio   real   NA NA = not available