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This data set provides species distribution, basal area, height, and crown cover of woody stems at ten sites along the Kalahari Transect, where a large gradient in both the mean and variation of annual rainfall results in dramatic changes in vegetation structure. Some of the data were collected during earlier Kalahari Transect projects in 1995 and 1997 at Vastrap, South Africa; Sandveld and Sachinga, Namibia; and Maziba, Senanga, and Lukulu, Zambia. The rest of the data were collected at Mongu, Zambia; and Pandamatenga, Maun, and Tshane, Botswana during the February-March 2000 wet season field campaign of SAFARI 2000.

Stem maps were generated at each site using a variable-width belt-transect approach. Tree location, species, diameter, height, and major and minor axis of crown dimensions were measured for each individual taller than 1.5 meters. For multi-stemmed individuals, the diameter of each stem was recorded separately. Canopy area was calculated to be an ellipse defined by the two major axes of measurement. Canopy height was estimated using a clinometer. Biomass was calculated following Goodman (1990) as modified by Dowty (1999).

There are two ASCII data files in comma-delimited format. The stem map file contains records of living, dead, and cut stem allometry; canopy geometry; and biomass at the SAFARI sites. The species list file provides plant family, genus, and species names; numerical codes that correspond to the stem map file; and species common names in English and Africaans.

Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Caylor, K. 2005. SAFARI 2000 Stem and Canopy Characterization, Kalahari Transect, 1995-2000. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/775.


Caylor, K., H. Shugart, and T. M. Smith. 2003. Tree spacing along the Kalahari Transect. Journal of Arid Environments, 54(2): 281-296.

Dowty, P. R. 1999. Modeling Biophysical Processes in the Savannas of Southern Africa. Ph D. dissertation. Environmental Sciences. Charlottesville, University of Virginia, 228 pages.

Goodman, P. S. 1990. Soil, Vegetation and Large Hebivore Relations in Mkuzi Game Reserve, Natal. Ph D. dissertation. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Data Format:

The data files associated with this data set are listed below. The primary data file is the kt_stem_map_data_S2K.csv file, with the kt_species_list_S2K.csv file providing supplementary information.

The primary data file, kt_stem_map_data_2000.csv, contains records of living, dead, and cut stem allometry; canopy geometry; and biomass at the SAFARI sites.

Stem Map File Column Descriptions

Data Type Column Name Description Units/
Site Information SITE Place name of the site. (See Site Information Table below) ASCII
SITE_NUM Number of the site (increases from north to south). numeric
NUMBER A number assigned to individual trees at a given site. numeric
X_METERS X location in meters (from SW corner of plot). meters
Y_METERS Y location in meters (from SW corner of plot). meters
SPECIES_CODE Species code - corresponds to SPECIES (TRANSECT) in species_list file. ASCII
Living Stems L1NUM L1NUM to L7NUM are the number of LIVING stems of a given size (L1DBH to L7DBH) for each individual tree. numeric
L1DBH L1DBH to L7DBH are the sizes of LIVING stems measured as the diameter of the stem at breast height (~1.37 m). cm
TOTLDBH Total DBH for all live stems (measured at top of basal swelling) for each tree. cm
TOTLSTEM Total number of live stems for each tree. numeric
TOTLBA Total living basal area for each tree. cm2
Dead Stems D1NUM D1NUM to D7NUM are the number of dead stems of a given size (D1DBH-D7DBH) for each individual tree. numeric
D1DBH Diameter of dead stems (repeated for number of different sized stems - max is D7NUM & D7DBH). cm
TOTDDBH Total DBH for all dead stems (measured at top of basal swelling) for each tree. cm
TOTDSTEM Total number of dead stems for each tree. numeric
TOTDBA Total dead basal area for each tree. cm2
Cut (or harvested)
C1NUM C1NUM to C7NUM are the number of cut stems (i.e., wood harvested) of size C1DBH-C3DBH for each individual tree. These occur primarily at the Maun site. numeric
C1DBH Diameter of cut (harvested) stems (repeated for the number of stems of different sizes - max is C3NUM & C3DBH). cm
TOTCDBH Total DBH for all cut (harvested) stems (measured at top of basal swelling). cm
TOTCSTEM Total number of cut (harvested) stems. numeric
TOTCBA Total basal area of the individual. cm2
Canopy Geometry HEIGHT_1 Height to bottom of the tree canopy (where measurements were taken). m
HEIGHT_2 Height in to the top of tree canopy. m
CANOPY_M Canopy width along X-dimension (E-W). m
CANOPY2_M Canopy width along Y-dimension (N-S). m
AREAC Area of canopy, assuming CANOPY_M and CANOPY2_M are axes of an ellipse. m2
Status Flags COPICE Flag (0/1) indicating presence of coppiced tree (regrowth from cut stem). These occur when harvesting or fire has cut back the tree from original growth. 0 - False
1 - True
DEAD Flag (0/1) to indicate tree is dead (may still be identified by species when possible), species code=99 is given if identification was not possible. 0 - False
1 - True
Biomass TOT_BIOM Total individual biomass for each tree based on allometric equations in Goodman 1990. kg
LEAF_BIOM Leaf biomass based on allometric equations in Goodman 1990. kg

Details regarding the species code column in the data file (described above) can be found in the kt_species_list file described below.

Site Information Table

Site Name

(S2K Site Name)

Location, Country Time Period Visited

Lishuwa Communal Forest


Lukulu, Zambia Feb-Mar 1997

Kataba Forest Reserve


Mongu, Zambia March 2000

Liangati Forest Reserve


Senanga, Zambia Feb-Mar 1997

Maziba Bay Forest


Sioma, Zambia Feb-Mar 1997

Sachinga Agricultural Station


Katima Mulilo, Namibia Feb-Mar 1995

Pandamatenga Agricultural Station


Pandamatenga, Botswana March 2000

Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre


Maun, Botswana March 2000

Sandveld Research Station


Gobabis, Namibia Feb-Mar 1995



Tshane, Botswana March 2000

Vastrap Weapons Range

(Vasred and Vasdune)

Upington, South Africa Feb-Mar 1995

Species File Column Descriptions

Column Definition
NAME Scientific genus and species name
SPECIES (TRANSECT) Code corresponds to SPEC_CODE column in stem map data file
FAMILY Plant family name
GENUS Plant genus name
SPECIES Plant species name
COMMON_NAME Species common name in English
AFRICAANS Species common name in Africaans

Additional information about the study sites, survey methods, and data format is found in the companion file:

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