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Data Extent

Data from: Evaluating plant biodiversity measurements and exotic species detection in National Resources Inventory Sampling protocols using examples from the Northern Great Plains of the USA

modified Whittaker plant biodiversity dataset from the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Plant biodiversity data and associated soils, ecological site, and livestock management data that were collected at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in 2011 and 2013. Data were collected using the modified Whittaker technique. The unique design of the Whitaker method reduces autocorrelation among subplots, which is common in standard transect methods (Goslee, 2006). Grassland scientists worldwide use this standard technique to quantify and monitor plant diversity on, for example, Serengeti grasslands (Anderson et al., 2006), South African serpentine grasslands (Reddy et al., 2009), and rangelands in Turkey (Firinciglu et al., 2007) among many other environments. In addition, Sanderson at the NGPRL and Goslee at ARS University Park have developed a large database on plant species diversity of grazing lands in the U.S. (nearly 300 sites sampled using the Whitaker plot method). The use of the standardized Whitaker plot method allows us to combine data from the northern Great Plains with other databases worldwide for larger-scale meta-analyses. The multiscale technique also enables comparison of vegetation dynamics at multiple scales.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: NGPRL modified Whittaker data
    File Name: NGPRL_ModWhit.csv

  • Resource Title: Ancillary data for NGPRL modified Whittaker plots
    File Name: NGPRL_ModWhit_Ancillary data.csv

  • Resource Title: Data dictionary for NGPRL modified Whittaker data
    File Name: Modified Whittaker dataset dictionary.csv

  • Methods for NGPRL modified Whittaker data
    File Name: modWhit methods and metadata.docx

Release Date
Not Planned
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-100.95831783721 46.763624847465, -100.95831783721 46.80098328223, -100.90376049047 46.80098328223, -100.90376049047 46.763624847465))
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory
Temporal Coverage
June 13, 2011 to June 13, 2013
Contact Name
Toledo, David
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service
005:53 - Natural Resources Conservation Service