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This data set contains species composition, basal area, height, and crown cover of all woody plants at six sites along the Kalahari Transect visited in February-March of 2000 as part of SAFARI 2000. Similar measurements on woody and herbaceous vegetation at the Skukuza Flux Tower site in Kruger National Park, South Africa, were made in June of 2000. Leaf area index was derived from measurements made using PAR sensors at each site.

Sampling protocol was the same at each site, with a slight variation at Skukuza. A grid of 42 points, 6 rows of 7 columns, each 50 m apart, was laid down in an area 300 m x 350 m for the Kalahari Transect sites. At Skukuza, the grid was 7 x 7, or 350 m x 350 m, centered on the tower site, yielding 49 points. At each grid point, all woody plants within a circular plot of a fixed radius were identified and measured. Stem circumference was measured on all stems and basal area per stem was derived. Basal area for the circular plots, per species, was calculated and extrapolated to hectares. Tree and stem densities were determined from the number of trees and stems in subplots and extrapolated to hectares. Woody plant height and canopy cover were determined, and aboveground woody biomass and peak leaf area index were estimated.

The files are in comma-delimited ASCII format, with the first line listing the data set, author, and date, followed by the data records.

Data Citation:

Cite this data set as follows:

Scholes, R. J. 2005. SAFARI 2000 Woody Vegetation Characteristics of Kalahari and Skukuza Sites. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/777.


Scholes, R. J., P. G. H. Frost, and Y. Tian. 2004. Canopy structure in savannas along a moisture gradient on Kalahari sands. Global Change Biology, 10(3): 292-302.

Scholes, R. J., P. R. Dowty, K. Caylor, P. G. H. Frost, D. A. B. Parsons, J. Ramontsho, and H. H. Shugart. 2002. Trends in savanna structure and composition on an aridity gradient in the Kalahari. Journal of Vegetation Science, 13(3): 419-428.

Scholes, R. J., et al., 2001, The environment and vegetation of the flux measurement site near Skukuza, Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 44(1): 73-83, ISSN 0075-6458.

Scholes, R. J. and D. A. B. Parsons (eds.). 1997. The Kalahari Transect: Research on global change and sustainable development in southern Africa. IGBP Report 42, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden.

Data Format:

The files are in comma-delimited ASCII format, with the first line listing the data set, author, and date. The data records follow and are described in the tables below. A value of -9.99 indicates no data.

Canopy Composition and Structure Data Files

The woody vegetation data (basal area, height, density and biomass) by species are contained in the files:


Column Description Units/Format
SITE k=Kataba forest, p=Pandamatenga, m=Near Maun, e=HOORC/MPG Maun tower, o=Okwa river crossing, t=Tshane, skukuza=Skukuza Flux Tower ASCII
SPECIES Scientific name up to 25 characters ASCII
BA Woody plant basal area m2 ha-1
SEBA Standard error of BA m2 ha-1
DENSITY Woody plant density (number of trees per hectare) ha
SEDEN Standard error of DENSITY (n=42 for KT, n=49 for Skukuza) ha
STEMS Number of stems per hectare (/ha) ha
HEIGHT Basal area-weighted average height m2 ha-1
WOOD Aboveground woody plant wood dry biomass kg ha-1
LEAF Aboveground woody plant leaf dry biomass kg ha-1
LAI Leaf Area Index calculated by allometry m2 m-2

LAI Data Files

The LAI data are provided in the files:


Column Description Units/Format
SITE Site name ASCII
DATE Date of data collection yyyymmdd
LATITUDE Latitude coordinate of measurement degrees, negative south
LONGITUDE Longitude coordinate of measurement degrees, positive east
LAIACC1 Leaf area index from Accupar instrument at 1 m above ground level (0 m at Skukuza) m2 m-2
LAIACC1SE Standard error of LAIACC1 (n=42 for KT, n=49 for Skukuza) m2 m-2
LAIACC0 Leaf area index from Accupar instrument at 0 m above ground level (Skukuza only) m2 m-2
LAIACCSE Standard error of LAIACC0 (n=49) m2 m-2
LAIMASS Leaf area index from allometric calculation of leaf mass and area per mass (maximum tree leaf area index) m2 m-2
ORIENT Canopy orientation (ratio of horizontal axis of ellipsoid to vertical axis), KT sites only. dimensionless
Comment Comments on measurements (Skukuza only) ASCII

Skukuza Herbaceous Layer Data File

The herbaceous layer data are contained within the file:


Column Description Units/Format
Genus Species Scientific name up to 25 characters ASCII
Basal area Species basal area percent
SEBA Standard error of basal area percent
Biomass Standing crop dry biomass g m-2

Also included are data input and output files as well as the software code (written in TurboPascal) used to process the data on a Windows PC. The input files are useful for those who want to know the size distribution of stems for demographic studies, since this information is lost in the synthesis.

Information about the study sites, sampling protocol, and data format is found in the following file:

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