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GCE-LTER Data Set Summary

Accession: PLT-GCED-0409 Research Theme: Plant Ecology (Directed Study)
Contributors: Steven C. Pennings, Wade Sheldon
Title: Plant community response to fertilization at Sapelo Island, Georgia
Abstract: Parallel fertilization experiments were performed in five different types of perennial plant mixtures found in the salt marsh habitat around Sapelo Island, Georgia, from May 1996 to September 1997. Each mixture differed in plot elevation, soil water content, and soil salinity, so each was considered a separate habitat. The mixtures also occurred in different geographic locations (i.e. Dean Creek on southern Sapelo Island, Marsh Landing on southwestern Sapelo Island, and Shell Hammock, which is near the University of Georgia Marine Institute). In May 1996, 16 1mx1m plots were placed within each plant mixture and alternate plots were assigned to control and fertilization treatments. Pelletized fertilizer (29% N, 3% P, 4% K) was broadcast into fertilization treatment plots by hand at the rate of 60g/m^2 every 2 weeks. The central 0.5mx0.5m of each plot was harvested in September 1997 after two summers growth. Live plants were sorted to species, dried to a constant mass, and weighed to measure biomass. Standing dead shoots and litter were not weighed.
DOI: 10.6073/pasta/7317387ac3da8dbde520ad45b9007019
Key Words: communities, fertilization, nitrogen, permanent plots, plant cover, plants
LTER Core Area: Primary Production
Research Themes: Plant Ecology
Study Period: 01-May-1996 to 30-Sep-1997
Study Sites:
GCE6 -- Dean Creek, Sapelo Island, Georgia, USA
ML -- Marsh Landing, Sapelo Island, Georgia, USA
UGAMI -- UGA Marine Institute, Sapelo Island, Georgia, USA
» Download Geographic Coverage: Google Earth
Species References: Batis maritima, Borrichia frutescens, Distichlis spicata, Juncus roemerianus, Salicornia virginica, Spartina alterniflora

Pennings, S.C., Stanton, L.E. and Brewer, J.S. 2002. Nutrient effects on the composition of salt marsh plant communities along the southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. Estuaries. 25:1164-1173.

Suding, K.N., Collins, S.L., Gough, L., Clark, C.M., Cleland, E.E., Gross, K.L., Milchunas, D.G. and Pennings, S.C. 2005. Functional- and abundance-based mechanisms explain diversity loss due to N fertilization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 102:4387-4392.

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Data Table: PLT-GCED-0409 (Main data table for data set PLT-GCED-0409, 240 records)

Access: Public (released 02-Sep-2004)

Metadata: Text (ESA FLED), XML (Ecological Metadata Language)

Data Formats: Spreadsheet (CSV) [12.22kb],  Text File [9.45kb],  MATLAB (GCE Toolbox) [183.55kb],  MATLAB (Variables) [155.50kb],  Text Report [24.49kb]

Column List:(hide)

Column Name Units Type Description
1 Site none string Nominal GCE-LTER study site
2 Community none string Plant community code
3 Treatment none string Fertilization treatment
4 Replicate none integer Treatment replicate
5 Species_Code none string Plant species code
6 ITIS_TSN none string Taxonomic Serial Number in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System database
7 Plant_Mass g/0.25m^2 floating-point Plant mass measured per 0.25 square meter quadrat
8 Plant_Mass_m2 g/m^2 floating-point Plant mass calculated per square meter
Statistics: Generate script code to retrieve data tables for analysis in: MATLAB, R, SAS, SPSS
Citation: Pennings, Steven C. 2004. Plant community response to fertilization at Sapelo Island, Georgia. Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER Project, University of Georgia, Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/7317387ac3da8dbde520ad45b9007019

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.