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Quadrat-based monitoring of desert grassland vegetation at the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico, 1915-2016

posted on 2024-06-07, 19:07 authored by Kris Havstad, Erica Christensen
The data set covers a 101-year period (1915-2016) of quadrat-based plant sampling at the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. At each sampling event, a pantograph was used to record the location and perimeter of living plants within permanent quadrats. Basal area was recorded for perennial grass species, canopy cover area was recorded for shrub species, and all other perennial species were recorded as point data. The data set includes 122 1m by 1m permanent quadrats, although not all quadrats were sampled in each year of the study and there is a gap in monitoring from 1980-1995. These data provide a unique opportunity to investigate changes in the plant community over 100 years of variation in precipitation and other environmental conditions. We provide the following data and data formats: (1) the digitized maps in shapefile format; (2) data table containing coordinates (x,y) of perennial species within quadrats, including cover area for grasses and shrubs; (3) data table of counts of annual plant individuals per quadrat; (4) species list indicating growth form and habit of recorded species; (5) table of dates when each quadrat was sampled; (6) table of the pasture each quadrat was located within (note that pasture boundaries have changed over time). Additional data to help characterize plant-scale factors related to vegetation dynamics at the quadrat locations are: (7) data table of depth to caliche layer; (8) data table of soil particle size analysis and sand fractionation; and (9) data table of local and patch topography. This data package was created to support a specific data paper. Data are also available in data packages knb-lter-jrn.210351001, knb-lter-jrn.210351002, and knb-lter-jrn.210351003. Pantograph sampling is currently conducted at 5 year intervals by USDA-ARS staff, and new data will be added to those data packages periodically.




Data contact name

Data Manager

Data contact email


Environmental Data Initiative (EDI)

Use limitations

This information is released under the Creative Commons license - Attribution - CC BY ( The consumer of these data ("Data User" herein) is required to cite it appropriately in any publication that results from its use. The Data User should realize that these data may be actively used by others for ongoing research and that coordination may be necessary to prevent duplicate publication. The Data User is urged to contact the authors of these data if any questions about methodology or results occur. Where appropriate, the Data User is encouraged to consider collaboration or co-authorship with the authors. The Data User should realize that misinterpretation of data may occur if used out of context of the original study. While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and associated documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is." The Data User should be aware, however, that data are updated periodically and it is the responsibility of the Data User to check for new versions of the data. The data authors and the repository where these data were obtained shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of the data. Thank you.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

"jornada Experimental Range, Dona Ana County, New Mexico, Usa. For More Detailed Geographic Locations Of The Permanent Quadrats Please Contact The Data Manager.", Jornada Basin

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • geoscientificInformation
  • farming
  • biota

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Jornada Experimental Range

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

agroecosystems; rangelands; sustainable agricultural intensification

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 216

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public