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

posted on 2023-11-30, 10:19 authored by Debra Peters, Laura Huenneke

This data package contains reference harvest measurements for the long-term Net Primary Production (NPP) study at the Jornada Basin LTER. Data here include horizontal cover, vertical height, and aboveground biomass of plants harvested near, but outside, a grid of permanent NPP quadrats at each of 15 NPP sites. These 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. At each site, a 1 hectare area was fenced in 1988 and a grid of 49 (48 at one playa location) 1m x 1m replicate quadrats was laid out when sampling began in 1989. Harvests are made outside the quadrat grid, but inside the fence. Height and cover are recorded in the field. Live biomass is weighed in the lab and all measurements are recorded as reference harvest data. Subsequently, regressions between the harvested biomass and plant volume values are used to derive allometric equations that determine biomass from non-destructive volume measurements in the permanent NPP quadrats. Further details are described in the methods metadata. This is an ongoing study with new harvest data (from selected species) collected in the spring, fall, and winter each year.Attention:These data are not appropriate for estimates of percentage cover because of the way the data are collected.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service

National Science Foundation, DEB-1832194


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

Npp Is Measured At 15 Sites, 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.

ISO Topic Category

  • farming
  • environment
  • biota
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • geoscientificInformation

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Jornada 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

  • 216

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Peters, Debra; Huenneke, Laura (2019). Seasonal reference harvest measurements of vegetation at 15 net primary production (NPP) study sites at Jornada Basin LTER, 1989-ongoing. Environmental Data Initiative (EDI).