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SGS-LTER Long Term Nitrogen Concentration in LTNPP Monitoring on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, Colorado, USA 1987 - 2011, ARS Study Number 6

posted on 2024-02-13, 15:09 authored by Daniel Milchunas

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: Aboveground plant nitrogen dynamics monitoring consists of two separate data sets. a) Long-term peak-crop nitrogen concentrations have been sampled since 1983 annually from sites sampled for ANPP estimates across the CPER. Plots are clipped for ANPP in August each year and include moderately grazed sites in sections 24 and 25, ungrazed treatments at ESA and owl creek, coarse textured soils in owl creek, fine textured soils in section 25, as well as three catena topopositions in section 24. These datasets have been designed for monitoring and so it is advised to consider calcuating average based at the transect level. B) Seasonal dynamics of life-form (dominant grass, forb, shrub species) nitrogen concentrations were obtained from random grab samples of aboveground plant tissue are taken monthly from May-Aug. and in Oct., Dec., Feb., and April from 1983 – 2007 at sites where ANPP has been collected since 1983 (ESA, ridge, mid-slope and swale in section 24). The objectives are to assess annual/seasonal weather and site productivity/management with quantity and quality of forage and/or litter production. Combined, these two data sets also provide an estimate of nitrogen yield. These data can be linked with secondary producer data sets such as annual cattle weight gains, grasshopper abundance, small mammal monitoring, etc., to assess how forage/plant tissue quantity and quality drive population dynamics.

Resources in this dataset:



National Science Foundation: DEB 1027319


Data contact name

Milchunas, Daniel


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

  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research
  • Central Plains 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

  • 215

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Milchunas, Daniel (2013). SGS-LTER Long Term Nitrogen Concentration in LTNPP Monitoring on the Central Plains Experimental Range, Nunn, Colorado, USA 1987 - 2011, ARS Study Number 6. Colorado State University.