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Seasonal non-destructive vegetation measurements at 15 net primary production (NPP) study sites at Jornada Basin LTER, 1989-ongoing

posted on 2024-06-07, 19:07 authored by Debra C Peters, Laura F Huenneke
This data package contains non-destructive quadrat measurements collected for the long-term Net Primary Production (NPP) study at the Jornada Basin LTER. Data here include measurements of horizontal cover and vertical height of plants observed at permanent NPP quadrats at 15 study sites. Sites were selected to represent the 5 major ecosystem types in the Chihuahuan Desert (upland grasslands, playa grasslands, mesquite-dominated shrublands, creosotebush-dominated shrublands, tarbush-dominated shrublands). For each ecosystem type, three sites were selected to represent the range in variability in production and plant diversity; thus the locations are not replicates. All sites are excluded from domestic grazing. Eleven sites are in non-grazed pastures, and at the other four sites 1 hectare areas around the observational plots were fenced in 1988. At all sites a grid of 49 (48 at one playa location) 1m x 1m replicate quadrats was laid out when sampling began in 1989. Grids consist of 49 quadrats arranged in a square 7 x 7 pattern, with quadrats 10 m apart (P-COLL has 48 quadrats in a 3 x 16 pattern). Standing vegetation in quadrats is sampled three times a year: in winter (February - March), before shrubs begin spring growth; in spring (May), when shrubs and spring annuals have reached peak biomass; in fall (late summer; October), when summer annuals have reached peak biomass but before killing frosts. Additional observations of plant count and phenological stage are also made. This dataset is subsequently used to determine quadrat biomass and net primary production. Details and linked data packages are described in the methods element. This is an ongoing dataset with new quadrat measurements collected in the spring, fall and winter of each year.Attention:1) For most species, these data are not appropriate for estimates of percentage cover because of the way the data are collected.See Note 1 in the methods element for further details.




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



  • annually


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Npp Study Locations: There Are 15 Sites Used In The Npp Study, Spanning 5 Vegetation Community Types In The Jornada Basin. This Bounding Box Includes All 15 Sites. More Precise Geographic Coordinates For This Study May Be Requested From The Jrn Lter Data Manager (, Jornada Basin

ISO Topic Category

  • geoscientificInformation
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • farming
  • environment
  • 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