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-MarshPlantStemCount.03
Dataset Title:Marsh plant species stem counts 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 Johnson, Erik Yando, Chris Haight
Keywords:PIE LTER, TIDE, primary production, nutrients, stem count, salt marsh, creek, culms, Spartina patens, Spartina alterniflora
Abstract:Marsh plant species stem counts 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. The reference creeks, West and Nelson, have been sampled in pair with the nutrient enriched creeks.
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-MarshPlantStemCount
Beginning Date 8/1/2003
End Date 8/31/2012
Number of Data Records 788
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
Methods: End of season stem counts allow for another estimate of productivity and are generally completed in August. For Tall Spartina alterniflora (TSA) four 0.25m2 quadrats are taken at random at each of the vegetation transects and then extrapolated to 1 m2. All stem in the quadrat are counted Vegetation transects are permanant transects running perpendicular to the tidal creek. They are designated by one pole at the creek's edge and another in the high marsh. Either 3 or 4 transects are sampled every year. Stem counts have been completed every year in the Tall Spartina alterniflora(TSA) from 2003 to 2012. Short Spartina alterniflora (SSA) and Spartina patens (SP) are counted using 0.0625 m2 quadrat and 10 cm diameter circle, respectively, and then extrapolated to 1 m2 . SSA and SP were recorded for stem densities from 2004 to 2006 at all creeks. Quadrats and circles are randomly placed along transects.

TSA- Spartina alterniflora (tall form)
SSA- Spartina alterniflora (short form)
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.

All creeks have two branches determined by direction at confluence while facing upstream (Left or Right).

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.

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Year Year of Stems Counted   datetime     YYYY NA NA = not available
Month Month of Stems Counted   nominal       NA NA = not available
Species Species of Stems Counted   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 Sampled   nominal       NA NA = not available
Transect Transect Sampled   nominal       NA NA = not available
Stems per quad Number of stems counted per quadrat or circle dimensionless ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Stems per meter squared Number of stems extrapolated from stems per quadrat or circle to 1 m 2 numberPerMeterSquared ratio   real   NA NA = not available