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-LAC-biomassmeans.08
Dataset Title:Aboveground biomass data from control sites in a Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh at Law's Point, Rowley River, Plum Island Ecosystem, MA.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Jim
Last Name:Morris
Address line 1:Dept of Biological Sciences
Address line 2:
Address line 3:University of SC
Zip Code:29208
Investigator 2: 
First Name:Karen
Last Name:Sundberg
Address line 1:Baruch Marine Field Laboratory
Address line 3:PO Box 1630
Zip Code:29442
Associate Investigators:Rob Daoust
Keywords:LTER, PIE, Plum Island Ecosystems, Massachusetts, Rowley River, primary production, estuary, salt marsh, Spartina alterniflora, aboveground biomass, Northeast United States
Abstract:Aboveground biomass is determined non-destructively at permanent, high marsh control (non-fertilized) plots in a Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh on the Rowley River within the Plum Island Ecosystem (PIE) LTER site, MA.
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-MP-LAC-biomassmeans
Beginning Date 6/1/1999
End Date 10/31/2015
Number of Data Records 89
Other Files to Reference LTE-MP-LPC-biomassmeans; LTE-MP-NAC-biomassmeans
Availability Status type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description Collections occur approximately every month from May through October. Database is updated once annually, usually in the winter. Study and data collection are ongoing as of Dec 2015.
Log of Changes: Version 01; new data and metadata
Version 02; new data and metadata
Version 03: February 2, 2012, updated data and metadata to Oct 2011. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 2/1/12 5:00 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 04: May 31, 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
Version 05: August 8, 2013, data and metadata update for 2012, Drupal and LTER PASTA compliant. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/14/13 12:02 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 06: April 22, 2014, 2013 data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA.Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Sep2013.xlsm 9/30/13 02:57 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 07: February 18, 2015, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jan2015.xlsm 1/15/15 4:26 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 08: February 24, 2016, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jan2015.xlsm 1/15/15 4:26 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description Law's Point on Rowley River, Rowley, MA, site of PIE LTER Spartina alterniflora plot level fertilization experiment.  
Location Bounding Box    
West Bounding Coordinate    
East Bounding Coordinate    
North Bounding Coordinate    
South Bounding Coordinate    
OR if single point location    
Latitude 42.731742  
Longitude -70.842472  
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Spartina alterniflora
This data set is part of an on-going LTER project at the Plum Island Ecosystem (PIE) site. The sampling location is in a Spartina alterniflora-dominated marsh at Law's Point between the Rowley River and West Creek in Rowley MA.

Sampling Description:
The biomass-estimation method is non-destructive. Two permanent subplots were established in each of 3 control plots in the marsh. Each subplot is 10cmx10cm. The subplots are labeled 1&2, with subplot 1 being the more northerly and/or westerly subplot. In May and June, plants in the subplots are tagged with bird ID bands. Approximately monthly from May to October, heights of the tagged plants and associated culms are measured to the nearest cm. Plant heights are read into a digital recorder. Descriptions of the locations of the plants within the quadrat are also recorded (e.g. northwest corner or northwest of tag #xxxx). Plant measurements are always taken with the observer on the same side of the quadrat for ease in tracking plants throughout the growing season.

The plant census at began in June 1999. In May 2006 the Control census plots were relocated due to potential contamination from fertilized plots. The census subplots kept the same id#ís from when they were within the boardwalk for continuity within the ACCESS database.

Data processing:
Plant data are entered first into an EXCEL spreadsheet, and eventually transferred to an ACCESS data base. Outputs from ACCESS are processed with two FORTRAN programs. The FORTRAN programs use algorithms to convert the ACCESS data outputs to plant weight, density, births, deaths and growth (Morris and Haskin, 1990). Fortran outputs are entered into SAS programs to calculate means.

(Morris and Haskin, 1990. Ecology 71(6):2209-2217)
(SAS System for Windows; release 8.02; SAS Institute, Inc; Cary, NC)

LTE-MP-LPA, ~ 1.1 meters NAVD88

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
site name of sampling station   nominal          
year year   datetime     yyyy    
month month   datetime     mm    
day day   datetime     dd    
mean biomass mean biomass, dry weight gramPerMeterSquared ratio   real   . .=not measured
stderr standard error of the mean biomass gramPerMeterSquared ratio   real   . .=not measured