Wet Tropics rainforest invaded lowland sclerophyll forest inventory, May-July 2014 (NERP TE 7.1, CSIRO)

This dataset consists of 31 monitoring sites in the Tully-Ingham area. Sites have various levels of rainforest invasion. Each site has a vegetation strata species list and counts of each species in each strata. Trees with stems > 10cm Diameter Breast Height (DBH) are identified and their DBH and height are measured. Date of survey May-July 2014. This dataset was originally designed to monitor the habitat of Mahogany Gliders and what effect fire had on different levels of rainforest invasion. Will a fire kill rainforest plants/seedlings? Can a heavily invaded sclerophyll community be reverted back to a grassy woodland with active fire management. The strata-based species lists (with counts) provides an insight as to the species turnover and recruitment/survivorship following a fire or following a control. Only botanical names are used in the lists. Methods: The monitoring sites were established between 2011 and 2012. The 31 sites occur on the coastal plain between Tully and Ingham, with most sites occurring on alluvium. Sites were categorised at establishment according to the level of rainforest invasion into the sclerophyll community. Categories were: low, medium and high, with low meaning few rainforest plants present. Each site is 20m x 20m and a geocode supplied for the south-east corner, which is permanently marked with a star picket. A star picket is also present in approx. the middle of the plot too. Within each site the community is divided into strata, or layers, of plants which more or less follows the methodology of the Queensland Herbarium. All sites have a ground layer, which is usually dominated by grasses or sedges. All sites have an upper tree layer and most sites have a shrub layer. Each layer has its own specific species list, identified usually to species level. Counts of all species in each strata exists, with numbers being actual from 1-10, estimates in units of 10’s to 100, estimates in the 100’s to 1000. Often for the ground layer, a cover or, a proportion in area is given in m2. Voucher specimens for many species exist at the Australian Tropical Herbarium and the Queensland Herbarium. Each strata is delineated by height, which is provided. All plants with a stem DBH > 10cm are identified, measured and heighted to the nearest metre using a laser range finder. For sites which have been burnt, any resprouting by plants is also recorded and usually in its own delimited field or written as ‘resprout’ in the “Cover” field. Limitations: The data supplied is the final inventory from the project. Each site has an establishment survey and a final survey. If a site was burnt during the projects life, that site was re-assessed. Thus, some sites have 3 sets of data. Three sites were established following a catastrophic/high energy wildfire, each reflecting a low, medium and high level of invasion prior to incineration. For these 3 sites there are 3 inventories. Format: Microsoft Office Word Document (.docx). Each strata from each site is presented in table format, with counts or cover in a delimited field adjacent to the botanical name. All fields are intuitive. Excel and Shapefiles To prepare the data for display on the eAtlas the data from the original Word vegetation mapping recording form documents were copied into Excel so that all the data was compiled into 4 tables: Sites, Species, Height-Classes and Large-Trees. Information from the sites was joined onto the Site-survey table using VLookup to add spatial information and site notes to the species observations. This was to make the table suitable for the creation of a shapefile. The Site-surveys and Large-Trees tables were converted to Shapefiles using ArcMap. The Excel file contains all the information in the original word documents except the "Recorder", whether there were photos taken at the site and some non-structured comments in the documents.

Principal Investigator
Metcalfe, Daniel, Dr CSIRO Land and Water Flagship
Co Investigator
Ford, Andrew, Mr CSIRO Land and Water Flagship
Point Of Contact
Metcalfe, Daniel, Dr CSIRO Land and Water Flagship dan.metcalfe@csiro.au

Data Usage Constraints
  • Attribution 3.0 Australia