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SGS-LTER Long-Term Monitoring Project: Body weights of rodents captured during SGS-LTER live-trapping on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, Colorado, USA 1994 -2011, ARS Study Number 118

posted on 2023-11-30, 10:20 authored by Paul Stapp

This data package was produced by researchers working on the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research (SGS-LTER) Project, administered at Colorado State University. Long-term datasets and background information (proposals, reports, photographs, etc.) on the SGS-LTER project are contained in a comprehensive project collection within the Digital Collections of Colorado ( The data table and associated metadata document, which is generated in Ecological Metadata Language, may be available through other repositories serving the ecological research community and represent components of the larger SGS-LTER project collection. Additional information and referenced materials can be found: Body size is a fundamental biological measurement that is known to be related to an organism's physiology, life-history and ecology. Estimates of body size are also widely used in comparative evolutionary and ecological studies, including food web and diet studies that require estimates of biomass. Beginning in 1994, small mammals are live-trapped twice each year on the three grassland and three shrubland trapping webs. Individuals are weighed (to nearest 0.5 g using a Pesola spring scale) when first captured during a given trapping session but not upon recapture during the same session. Weights are calculated by subtracting the weight of an empty capture (ziploc) bag from the weight of animal in the bag. Individuals are classified into age classes (adult, subadult, juvenile) in the field based on a combination of size and pelage characteristics. This dataset gives means, standard deviations, minimum and maximum values for body weight, in grams, of small mammals captured between September 1994 and September 2008. All sites and sampling periods were combined. Most individuals (~93%) were classified as new captures, although a few individuals that were captured multiple times across different trapping sessions may appear in the dataset more than once. Values may differ from estimates calculated using the entire capture dataset because age and weight data were screened more closely to omit obvious errors and outliers.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service

National Science Foundation, DEB 1027319


Data contact name

Stapp, Paul

Data contact email


Colorado State University

Use limitations

URL for Access Policies Data Access Policy Data sets were provided by the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research (SGS-LTER) Program, a partnership between Colorado State University, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and the U.S. Forest Service Pawnee National Grassland. Significant funding for these data was provided by the National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research program (NSF Grant Number DEB-1027319). The SGS-LTER project (1980-2014) was established as one of the first sites in the US LTER Network and has produce a rich legacy of digital materials including reports, proposals, images, and data packages. Data, products and other information produced from the SGS-LTER are curated as a collection within the Digital Collections of Colorado ( Materials can be accessed from the Institutional Digital Repository of Colorado State University or upon request by emailing All data are open for dissemination and re-use for any purpose, but you must attribute credit to the owner and cite use appropriately according to the LTER Data Access Policy.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

The Short Grass Steppe Site Encompasses A Large Portion Of The Colorado Piedmont Section Of The Western Great Plains. The Extent Is Defined As The Boundaries Of The Central Plains Experimental Range (cper). The Cper Has A Single Ownership And Landuse (livestock Grazing). The Png Is Characterized By A Mosaic Of Ownership And Land Use. Ownership Includes Federal, State Or Private And Land Use Consists Of Livestock Grazing Or Row-crops. There Are Ngo Conservation Groups That Exert Influence Over The Area, Particularly On Federal Lands.

ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • biota
  • farming
  • geoscientificInformation

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Central Plains Experimental Range
  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research

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

  • 215

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Stapp, Paul (2013). SGS-LTER Long-Term Monitoring Project: Body weights of rodents captured during SGS-LTER live-trapping on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, Colorado, USA 1994 -2011, ARS Study Number 118. Colorado State University.