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Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Vegetation Plots at Happy Valley, Alaska, 1994

Documentation Revision Date: 2016-11-30

Data Set Version: V1

Summary

This data set provides environmental, soil, and vegetation data collected in July 1994 from 56 study plots at the Happy Valley research site, located along the Sagavanirktok River in a glaciated valley of the northern Arctic Foothills of the Brooks Range. Data includes the baseline plot information for vegetation, soils, and site factors for the study plots subjectively located in 17 plant communities that occur in 5 broad habitat types across the glaciated landscape. Specific attributes include: dominant vegetation species, cover, indices, and biomass pools, soil chemistry, physical characteristics, moisture, and organic matter. This product brings together for easy reference all the available information collected from the plots that has been used for the classification, mapping, and analysis of geo-botanical factors in the Happy Valley region and across Alaska.

The data set includes three data files in *.csv format and three companion files.

Figure 1. Happy Valley Permanent Vegetation Plot SWT-44.

Citation

Walker, D.A. 2016. Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Vegetation Plots at Happy Valley, Alaska, 1994. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1354

Table of Contents

  1. Data Set Overview
  2. Data Characteristics
  3. Application and Derivation
  4. Quality Assessment
  5. Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods
  6. Data Access
  7. References

Data Set Overview

This data set provides environmental, soil, and vegetation data collected in July 1994 from 56 study plots at the Happy Valley research site, located along the Sagavanirktok River in a glaciated valley of the northern Arctic Foothills of the Brooks Range. Data includes the baseline plot information for vegetation, soils, and site factors for the study plots subjectively located in 17 plant communities that occur in 5 broad habitat types across the glaciated landscape. Specific attributes include: dominant vegetation species, cover, indices, and biomass pools; soil chemistry, physical characteristics, moisture, and organic matter. This product brings together for easy reference all the available information collected from the plots that has been used for the classification, mapping, and analysis of geo-botanical factors in the Happy Valley region and across Alaska.

The Pre-ABoVE vegetation plot data sets were curated to create the Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA-AK; Walker et al. 2016b, Walker 2013). The AVA-AK is a regional database that is part of the larger Arctic Vegetation Archive (Walker 2016a, Walker et al. 2013, Walker and Raynolds 2011). The database contains vegetation plots from homogeneous plant communities with tables of cover or cover-abundance scores for all species, and accompanying environmental site data. Field data were collected using Braun-Blanquet, US National Vegetation Classification protocols, or comparable methods.

Project: Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)

The Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign that will take place in Alaska and western Canada between 2016 and 2021. Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.

Acknowledgements:

These data were obtained from the Alaska Arctic Geoecological Atlas (http://agc.portal.gina.alaska.edu), which provides access to existing Arctic vegetation plot and map data in support of the ABoVE campaign.

Data Characteristics

Spatial Coverage: Happy Valley, Alaska

ABoVE Grid Location: Ah00v01Bh03v00

Spatial Resolution: Point samples

Temporal Coverage: 19940718 to 19940731

Temporal Resolution: Each plot was sampled once

Study Area: (All latitude and longitude given in decimal degrees)

Site

Westernmost Longitude

Easternmost Longitude

Northernmost Latitude

Southernmost Latitude

Happy Valley, Alaska

 -148.8685

 -148.8205

 69.1689

 69.122

 

Data File Information

The data set includes three data files in *.csv format:  Happy_Valley_Soil_Data, Happy_Valley _Species_Data, and Happy_Valley_Environmental_Data.

There are three companion files: Happy_Valley_Veg_Plots_Report_Walker_1997.pdf is the summary report of all the data collected, methods of collection, maps/plots etc. for the 56 study plots at the Happy Valley research site. Happy_Valley_Plot_Photos.pdf contains the photographs of the soil profiles, vegetation, and the general area for each of the plots.

 

Table 1. Data and companion files

Data File Name Description
Happy_Valley_Soil_Data.csv Soil characterization data for Happy Valley research plots
Happy_Valley_Species_Data.csv Species cover data for Happy Valley research plots
Happy_Valley_Environmental_Data.csv Comprehensive set of environmental characterization data for Happy Valley research plots including the descriptive site factors. Most measurement data have been processed to provide values at a common 10 cm depth. This measurement comparability facilitates analysis of geo-botanical relationships across Alaska.
Companion File Name Description
Happy_Valley_Veg_Plots_Report_Walker_1997.pdf Summary report of all the data collected, methods of collection, maps/plots etc. for the 56 study plots at the Happy Valley research site (Walker et al., 1997).
Happy_Valley_Plot_Photos.pdf This file contains landscape, plot, and soil photos of the Happy Valley vegetation plots.
Happy_Valley_Env_Legend.pdf This file contains the legend for some of the environmental parameters for the Happy Valley vegetation plots.

 

Data Descriptions: The column names, their units and descriptions for each of the .csv data files are listed below.

Table 2. Happy_Valley_Soil_Data.csv

Column Name Units  Description
FIELD PLOT NUMBER   Plot number where the soil sample was collected
SAMPLE ID NUMBER   Soil Sample number
DEPTH CM Depth of the soil layer
HORIZON   Soil horizon
SOIL_PH   PH of the soil sample
ELECTRICAL_ CONDUCTIVITY MMHOS/CM Electrical conductivity of the soil sample
LIME   Lime in the soil sample
ORGANIC_MATTER  % Percentage of organic matter in the soil sample
NO3_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable NO3-NH4HCO3 in the soil sample
P_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable P in the soil sample
K_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable K in the soil sample
ZN_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable Zn in the soil sample
FE_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable Fe in the soil sample
MN_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable Mn in the soil sample
CU_NH4HCO3_DTPA_EXTRACT  ppm Extractable Cu in the soil sample
SAND  % Percentage of sand in the soil sample
SILT  % Percentage of silt in the soil sample
CLAY  % Percentage of clay in the soil sample
TEXTURE   Texture of the soil in the soil sample
CA_NH4OAC_EXTRACT  MEQ/L Extractable Ca in the soil sample
MG_NH4OAC_EXTRACT  MEQ/L Extractable Mg in the soil sample
NA_NH4OAC_EXTRACT  MEQ/L Extractable Na in the soil sample
K_NH4OAC_EXTRACT  MEQ/L Extractable K in the soil sample
SODIUM ABSORPTION RATIO   Sodium absorption ratio of the soil sample

 

Table 3. Happy_Valley_Environmental_Data.csv

Note: Coded and scalar variables are followed by a description column (e.g. landform and landform_desc). See the companion file Happy_Valley_Env_Legend.pdf for a complete list of coded and scalar variables and their descriptions.

Column Name Units  Description
FIELD_PLOT_NUMBER   Field plot number
PRINCIPAL_HABITAT   Principal habitat in the plot
PRELIMINARY_COMMUNITY_NAME   Preliminary vegetation type within the plots based on habitat and dominant species
PLANT_COMMUNITY   Primary vegetation types
MICROSITE   Detailed description of microsite within the plots
DATE_SAMPLED YYYYMMDD Sampling date
LATITUDE DD Latitude of the center of the plots
LONGITUDE DD Longitude of the center of the plots
LANDFORM   Landform of the plots
LANDFORM_DESC   Description of landforms of the plots
SURFICIAL_GEOLOGY   Surficial geology of the plots
SURFICIAL_GEOLOGY_DESC   Description of surficial geology of the plots
SURFICIAL_GEOMORPHOLOGY   Surficial geomorphology of the plots
SURFICIAL_GEOMORPHOLOGY_DESC   Description of surficial geomorphology of the plots
MICROSITE_CODE   Microsite of the plots
MICROSITE_DESC   Description of microsite of the plots
GLACIAL_GEOLOGY   Glacial geology of the plots
GLACIAL_GEOLOGY_DESC   Description of glacial geology of the plots
TOPOGRAPHIC_POSITION   Topographic position of the plots
TOPOGRAPHIC_POSITION   Description of the topographic position of the plots
SOIL_UNITS   Soil units in the plot
SOIL_UNITS_DESC   Description of the soil units within the plot
SLOPE Degrees Slope of the plots
ASPECT Degrees Aspect of the plots
THAW_DEPTH CM Depth to permafrost of the plots
THAW_DEPTH_STANDARD_DEVIATION_WHERE_CALCULATED CM Standard Deviation in the depth to permafrost of the plots
SITE_MOISTURE   Site moisture of the plots
SITE_MOISTURE_DESC   Description of the site moisture of the plots
SOIL_MOISTURE   Soil moisture content within the plots
SOIL_MOISTURE_DESC   Description of the soil moisture content within the plots
EXPOSURE   Exposure of the plots
EXPOSURE_DESC   Description of the exposure of the plots
ESTIMATED_SNOW_DURATION   Estimated snow duration within the plots
ESTIMATED_SNOW_DURATION_DESC   Description of estimated snow duration within the plots
ANIMAL_HUMAN_DISTURBANCE   Amount of animal/human disturbance
ANIMAL_HUMAN_DISTURBANCE_DESC   Description of the amount of animal/human disturbance
STABILITY   Stability of the plots
STABILITY_DESC   Description of stability of the plots
PLOT_SIZE M x M Size of each plot
COVER_TALL_SHRUBS % Percentage of tall shrub cover in the plot
COVER_LOW_SHRUBS % Percentage of low shrub cover in the plot
DWARF_SHRUB_COVER % Percentage of dwarf shrub cover in the plot
COVER_EVERGREEN_SHRUBS % Percentage of evergreen shrub cover in the plot
COVER_DECIDUOUS_SHRUBS % Percentage of deciduous shrub cover in the plot
COVER_FORBS % Percentage of forb cover in the plot
COVER_HORSETAILS % Percentage of horsetail cover in the plot
COVER_GRAMINOIDS % Percentage of graminoid cover in the plot
COVER_LICHENS % Percentage of lichen cover in the plot
COVER_BRYOPHYTES % Percentage of bryophyte cover in the plot
COVER_ROCKS % Percentage of rock cover in the plot
COVER_BARE_SOIL % Percentage of bare soil cover in the plot
COVER_WATER % Percentage of water cover in the plot
COVER_FROST_SCARS % Percentage of frost scars in the plot
COVER_TOTAL_DEAD %  
HEIGHT_OF_VEGETATION CM Average vegetation height within the plot
ELEVATION_TO_NEAREST_50M M Elevation 
HORIZON_AT_10_CM   Soil horizon at 10 cm depth
ORGANIC_LAYER_DEPTH CM Depth of soil organic layer
SOIL_PH_AT_10_CM   PH of the soil at 10 cm depth
ELECTRICAL_CONDUCTIVITY_AT_10_CM MMHOS/CM Electrical conductivity of the soil at 10 cm depth
LIME_AT_10_CM   CACO3 equivalent in the soil at 10 cm depth
ORGANIC_MATTER_AT_10_CM % Soil organic matter at 10 cm depth
NO3_N_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable NO3-NH4HCO3 in the soil at 10 cm depth
P_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable P in the soil at 10 cm depth
K_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable K in the soil at 10 cm depth
ZN_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable Zn in the soil at 10 cm depth
FE_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable Fe in the soil at 10 cm depth
MN_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable Mn in the soil at 10 cm depth
CU_NH4HC3_DTPA_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM PPM Extractable Cu in the soil at 10 cm depth
SAND_AT_10_CM % Percentage of sand in the soil at 10 cm depth
SILT_AT_10_CM % Percentage of silt in the soil at 10 cm depth
CLAY_AT_10_CM % Percentage of clay in the soil at 10 cm depth
TEXTURE_AT_10_CM   Texture of the soil at 10 cm depth
TEXTURE_TOP_MINERAL_HORIZON   Soil texture at the top of the mineral horizon
CA_NH4OAC_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM MEQ/L Extractable Ca in the soil at 10 cm depth
MG_NH4OAC_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM MEQ/L Extractable Mg in the soil at 10 cm depth
NA_NH4OAC_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM MEQ/L Extractable Na in the soil at 10 cm depth
K_NH4OAC_EXTRACT_AT_10_CM MEQ/L Extractable K in the soil at 10 cm depth
SODIUM_ABSORPTION_RATIO   Sodium absorption ratio of the soil within the plot

 

Table 4. Happy_Valley_Species_Data.csv

Column Numbers Column Name Units  Description
1 PASL_TAXON_SCIENTIFIC_NAME_NO_AUTHORS   Current Taxonomy according to the Panarctic Species List (PASL)
2 PASL_TAXON_SCIENTIFIC_NAME_WITH_AUTHOR(S)   Current Taxonomy according to the Panarctic Species List (PASL) includng authors names
3 DATASET_TAXON   Dataset taxonomy
4 to 59 HV1 to HV55 (this includes 42a and 42b)   Column headings are all 56 plot numbers. The data values are Species Cover Classes (Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale): where r (rare), + (common, but less than 1 percent cover), 1 (1-5 percent), 2 (6 to 25 percent), 3 (25 to 50 percent), 4 (51 to 75 percent), 5 (76 to 100 percent).

Application and Derivation

These data bring together for easy reference all the available information collected from the plots and that has been used for the classification, mapping and analysis of the geo-botanical factors in the Happy Valley region. Derived regional maps of these data will be used in regional models of fluxes of trace gases, water, and energy from tundra surfaces. In addition, a circumpolar vegetation classification resulting from these data sets would be highly desirable to extend the results to the entire arctic region.

Quality Assessment

No specific quality assessment information provided.

Data Acquisition, Materials, and Methods

The fifty-six study plots at the Happy Valley research site located along the Sagavanirktok River in northern Alaska (shown in Figure 2) were subjectively located in 17 plant communities and 5 broad habitat types including: dry tundra (including river terraces and frost scars) (10 plots), snowbeds (2 plots), moist tundra (including acidic tussock tundra and nonacidic tundra) (14 plots), shrublands (including riparian alders, riparian willow communities, and dwarf-birch shrub tundra) (16 plots), and wet tundra (including fens, poor fens, and aquatic marshes) (14 plots).

 

Figure 2. Location map of the 56 Happy Valley Permanent Vegetation Plots.

Vegetation Plot Sampling

A formal relevé sampling of the designated plots was done during the period 18-27 July,1994 to sample the diversity of vegetation types of the region. All the plots were permanently marked with a 4-foot black and white-striped 1-inch PVC pipe with the plot number stamped into an aluminum tag at the top of the post. The plots had no fixed size in order to obtain a complete species list, however the size of the plots were estimated and are included within these data. For more details see Happy_Valley_Veg_Plots_Report_Walker_1997.pdf

Sampling of the plots included:

  1. Taking photographs of the general site (Figure 1), close-up of vegetation (Figure 3), and close-up of the soil profile (Figure 4). Photos are provided in Happy_Valley_Plot_Photos.pdf and Happy_Valley_Veg_Plots_Report_Walker_1997.pdf.
  2. Measuring site factors listed in Table 3 plus measurements of thaw depth, estimates of cover of bare soil, rocks, the height of vegetation and the major plant growth forms as summarized in Table 4
  3. Field sampling of soils where soil pits were dug adjacent to the plots and described and classified according to the U.S. soil taxonomy [Walker et al., 1997]. Soil samples were collected from each horizon and air dried in the laboratory. Bulk density and soil moisture samples were taken from the sides of the soil pits or from large solid plugs for the wet soils using a 240-ml soil can.
  4. Laboratory analysis of soil samples included routine analysis on all samples [pH (saturated paste); electric current; NO3-N, (KCL extract); P, K, Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, (NH4HCO3-DPTA extract); lime estimate, texture estimate (by hand); organic matter (Walkley-Black or ash method); and Sodium Adsorption Ratio]. Selected samples were analyzed for percent sand, percent silt and percent clay; and Ca, Mg, Na, K (NH4OAc extract).
  5. Estimating vegetation cover using the Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale (r = rare; + = common but less than 1 % cover; 1 = 1-5%; 2 = 6-25%; 3 = 25-50%; 4 = 51-75%; 5 = 76-100%). Plant communities were determined and sample plots were marked with stakes. The area surrounding each plot marker was searched until no new species in the plant community being sampled were encountered. Cover abundance values are relatively broad subjective classes, and were determined by estimating cover within the general area of the stake. Voucher collections were made for all vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens occurring in the relevé.

 

Figure 3: Vegetation at one of the Happy Valley permanent plots (Plot SWT-43).

 

Figure 4: Soil profile at one of the Happy Valley permanent plots (Plot SWT-54).

 

This data set was provided by the GINA repository at http://geobotanical.portal.gina.alaska.edu/plot-archive/plot-datasets/16-happy-valley; access date 20 Oct 2016. For additional background information on this data set please refer to http://www.arcticatlas.org/support/tldatareport/index.

 

Data Access

These data are available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

Pre-ABoVE: Arctic Vegetation Plots at Happy Valley, Alaska, 1994

Contact for Data Center Access Information:

References

Walker, D. A., F. J. A. Daniëls, I. Alsos, U. S. Bhatt, A. L. Breen, M. Buchhorn, H. Bültmann, L. A. Druckenmiller, M. E. Edwards, D. Ehrich, H. E. Epstein, W. A. Gould, R. A. Ims, M. H, M. K. Raynolds, J. Sibik, and S. S. Talbot. 2016a. Arctic vegetation: A hierarchic review of productivity, biodiversity patterns and an Arctic vegetation archive. Environmental Research Letters

Walker, D. A.; A. L. Breen; L. A. Druckenmiller; L. W. Wirth; W. Fisher; M. K. Raynolds; J. Šibík; M. D. Walker; S. Hennekens; K. Boggs; T. Boucher; M. Buchhorn; H. Bültmann; D. J. Cooper; F. J.A Daniëls; S. J. Davidson; J. J. Ebersole; S. C. Elmendorf; H. E. Epstein; W. A. Gould; R. D. Hollister; C. M. Iversen; M.T. Jorgenson; A. Kade; M. T. Lee; W. H. MacKenzie; R. K. Peet; J. L. Peirce; U. Schickhoff; V. L. Sloan; S. S. Talbot; C. E. Tweedie; S. Villarreal; P. J. Webber; D. Zona. The Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive. 2016b. Phytocoenologia doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/phyto/2016/0128  

Walker, D.A. (Ed). Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive Workshop, Boulder, Colorado, October 14-16, 2013. CAFF Proceedings Report #11. Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN: 978-9935-431-29-5.

Walker, D. A., A. L. Breen, M. K. Raynolds, and M. D. Walker, editors. 2013. Arctic Vegetation Archive Workshop, Krakow, Poland April 14-16, 2013. CAFF Proceedings Report #10. Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN: 978-9935-431-24-0.

Walker, D. A., and M. K. Raynolds. 2011. An International Arctic Vegetation Database: A foundation for panarctic biodiversity studies. CAFF Strategy Series Report nr. 5. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), Akureyri, Iceland.

Walker, D. A., Auerbach, N.A., Nettleton, T.K., Gallant, A., Murphy, S.M. 1997. Happy Valley permanent Veletation plots: site factors,physical and chemical soil properties, plant species cover, photographs, soil descriptions and ordination. Data Report for DOE R4D Program, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Boulder, CO.