Ag Data Commons
4 files

Data from: Range size, local abundance and effect inform species descriptions at scales relevant for local conservation practice

posted on 2024-02-13, 13:27 authored by Erin K. Espeland, Zachary A. Sylvain

Understanding species abundances and distributions, especially at local to landscape scales, is critical for land managers and conservationists to prioritize management decisions and informs the effort and expense that may be required. The metrics of range size and local abundance reflect aspects of the biology and ecology of a given species, and together with its per capita (or per unit area) effects on other members of the community comprise a well-accepted theoretical paradigm describing invasive species. Although these metrics are readily calculated from vegetation monitoring data, they have not generally (and effect in particular) been applied to native species. We describe how metrics defining invasions may be more broadly applied to both native and invasive species in vegetation management, supporting their relevance to local scales of species conservation and management. We then use a sample monitoring dataset to compare range size, local abundance and effect as well as summary calculations of landscape penetration (range size × local abundance) and impact (landscape penetration × effect) for native and invasive species in the mixed-grass plant community of western North Dakota, USA. This paper uses these summary statistics to quantify the impact for 13 of 56 commonly encountered species, with statistical support for effects of 6 of the 13 species. Our results agree with knowledge of invasion severity and natural history of native species in the region. We contend that when managers are using invasion metrics in monitoring, extending them to common native species is biologically and ecologically informative, with little additional investment.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Supporting Data (xlsx).

    File Name: Espeland-Sylvain-BiodivConserv-2019-raw-data.xlsx

    Resource Description: Occurrence data per quadrangle, site, and transect. Species Codes and habitat identifiers are defined in a separate sheet.

  • Resource Title: Data Dictionary.

    File Name: Espeland-Sylvain-BiodivConserv-2019-data-dictionary.csv

    Resource Description: Details Species and Habitat codes for abundance data collected.

  • Resource Title: Supporting Data (csv).

    File Name: Espeland-Sylvain-BiodivConserv-2019-raw-data.csv

    Resource Description: Occurrence data per quadrangle, site, and transect.

  • Resource Title: Supplementary Table S1.1.

    File Name: 10531_2019_1701_MOESM1_ESM.docx

    Resource Description: Scientific name, common name, life history group, family, status (N= native, I= introduced), percent of plots present, and average cover when present of 56 vascular plant species recorded in 1196 undisturbed plots in federally-managed grasslands of western North Dakota. Life history groups: C3 = cool season perennial grass, C4 = warm season perennial grass, SE = sedge, SH = shrub, PF= perennial forb, BF = biennial forb, APF = annual, biennial, or perennial forb.


USDA: 5436-22000-017-00


Data contact name

Sylvain, Zachary A.


Ag Data Commons

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Little Missouri National Grassland, western North Dakota

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • environment
  • geoscientificInformation
  • location
  • planningCadastre

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

landscapes; managers; ecology; invasive species; vegetation; monitoring; indigenous species; data collection; North Dakota; United States; statistics; natural history; common names; life history; grasslands; annuals; perennials; grasses; warm season; shrubs; forbs; plant communities; biogeography; landscape management; conservation practices

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 215

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Espeland, Erin K.; Sylvain, Zachary A. (2019). Data from: Range size, local abundance and effect inform species descriptions at scales relevant for local conservation practice. Ag Data Commons.