Level 1 sampling overview
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Level-1 Sampling Overview. CVS-EEP Vegetation Monitoring Workshop June 9, 2009 Tom Wentworth – NC State University. CAROLINA VEGETATION SURVEY. Background – Level 1. Level 1 is designed specifically for restoration areas with planted material; only planted woody stems are inventoried.

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Level 1 sampling overview

Level-1 Sampling Overview

CVS-EEP Vegetation Monitoring Workshop

June 9, 2009

Tom Wentworth – NC State University




Background level 1

Background – Level 1

  • Level 1 is designed specifically for restoration areas with planted material; only planted woody stems are inventoried.

    • goals: to determine pattern of installation of woody stems with respect to species, spacing, and density, and to monitor their survival and growth

Information gathered

Information Gathered

  • Plot Data:

    • specific data about the plot (e.g., elevation) and metadata (data about the data, e.g., taxonomic standard used)

  • Planted Woody Stem Data:

    • information about all planted stems, including location, dimensions, vitality, and damage

Some general guidelines

Some General Guidelines

  • Complete as many fields as possible:

    • fields designated in Bold & Underlined must be completed

  • Use pencil (7 mm mechanical preferred).

  • It is generally preferable to cross out mistakes rather than to erase them.

  • Please take advantage of “NOTES” fields to record helpful information.

About the inventory plots

About the Inventory Plots

  • Location of stands - based on available vegetation, project goals, needs of landowners, representativeness, etc.

  • Size and shape of plots:

    • for level 1, always 100 m2 (1 are) and either 10 x 10 m (typical) or 5 x 20 m, as needed

About the inventory plots1

About the Inventory Plots

  • Number of plots – please refer to CVS-EEP protocol for guidelines.

  • Other considerations:

    • project directors will select stands within which are placed a plot or plots

    • plots should be placed in such a way that avoids bias

    • plot placement should also avoid edge effects and achieve homogeneity of vegetation and environment

Plot data general information plot id

Plot Data -General Information: Plot ID

  • Plot identification is critical to success of the inventory effort:

    • Project Label: unique and assigned by EEP

    • Project name: official name (may not be unique) assigned by EEP

    • Team: each field team within a project has a unique number; use “1” if only one team exists

    • Plot: for each team, a unique numeric identifier for each plot, running sequentially from an initial plot number.

General information level date s and party

General Information:Level, Date(s), and Party

  • Level: available levels in CVS-EEP protocol are 1-5, but we are only considering level 1 (planted stems only) for our current purposes.

  • Start Date: use dd/mmm/yyyy (e.g., 9/JUN/2009) format

    • add End Date if different from start date

  • Party and Role:

    • all contributors to collection of data, with roles played

General information soil drainage

General Information:Soil Drainage

  • Identifies the natural drainage conditions of the soil and refers to the frequency and duration of wet periods.

  • Categories are defined in terms of:

    • actual moisture content (in excess of field moisture capacity), and

    • the extent of period during which excess water is present in the plant-root zone

  • Please consult the protocol for details!

General information water

General Information: Water

  • Information requested:

    • percent of plot submerged (at the time of inventory)

    • mean water depth (where present)



  • General: overall location (general place name)

  • State and County

  • USGS Quadrangle (if used)

  • Place Names: more specific location name(s)

  • EEP Reach: section of river where study is located

  • Land Owner

Gps location data

GPS Location Data

  • Use of GPS for location data is required for level 1 sampling.

  • GPS Receiver Location - within plot, give X and Y coordinates, typically plot origin.

  • Specify Coordinate System (e.g., UTM) and Coord. Units (e.g., m).

  • Datum - critical information, because all geocoordinates are referenced to a datum, and many different datums are available:

    • we recommend NAD83/WGS84

Gps location data1

GPS Location Data

  • Zone (if using UTM system)

  • Lat or Northing (latitude in selected units or UTM-N [7-digit])

  • Long or Easting (longitude in selected units or UTM-E [6-digit])

  • Coordinate Accuracy - m radius, typically provided by GPS receiver

  • GPS File Name - if you saved a waypoint or other file

Site characteristics

Site Characteristics

  • Elevation - best taken from topographic maps or GIS (not from GPS unit), or by using properly calibrated altimeter

  • Slope - plot inclination in degrees (always positive)

  • Aspect - azimuth in degrees of direction plot faces

  • Compass Type - are readings magnetic or true (corrected for local declination)?

Plot placement

Plot Placement

  • Project Director or Plot Leader will make this determination.

Taxonomic standard

Taxonomic Standard

  • Plant nomenclature is notoriously labile!

  • It is important to cite the authority (reference) used for the names you applied to plants, because this identifies the concepts behind the names.

  • Our current preference is Alan Weakley’s regional flora (currently 2006 version), but you may choose other standards, or possibly multiple standards!

Plot diagram

Plot Diagram

  • This important diagram captures:

    • plot shape and dimensions (Plot Size is default of 1 are [=100 m2])

    • location of plot origin and marking posts (including X and Y coordinates of all Posts relative to origin):

      • we recommend locating plot origin along the side of the plot away from the stream course when the plot is adjacent to a stream (to reduce likelihood of loss of origin stake by flood events)

Plot diagram1

Plot Diagram

  • This important diagram also captures:

    • GPS location point

    • location and bearing of photo(s)

    • Bearing of Plot X-Axis

    • locations of landmarks, such as streams, banks, fences, witness trees, etc.



  • These notes capture additional information about:

    • Layout (especially unusual features)

    • Plot Location - relocation information can be summarized here

    • Plot Rationale - why this particular location was chosen for the plot

    • Other Notes - typically, this field will capture information about disturbance type and severity

Planted woody stem data form header

Planted Woody Stem Data Form: Header

  • Field at top of second data form (Planted Woody Stem Data)

    • repeats information from Plot Data form:

      • Leader, Project Label, Team, Plot, Date

    • essential for reuniting data forms if they become separated, so please fill this out as you begin recording data!

    • add page numbering as needed

Planted versus natural stems

Planted versus Natural Stems

  • The CVS-EEP Protocol for Recording Vegetation requires that a distinction is made between planted and natural woody stems. Which is which?

    • if there is positive confirmation (e.g., planting plan) or strong evidence (e.g., burlap shreds) that a stem was planted, then consider it planted…otherwise, consider it natural (and thus not recorded in Level 1)!

Planted stem data entry vbd versus vmd

Planted Stem Data Entry:VBD versus VMD

  • For newly-constructed projects, planted woody stems are initially inventoried through collection of Vegetation Baseline Data (VBD):

  • In years following initial plot establishment, the protocol specifies collection of Vegetation Monitoring Data (VMD):

    • preprinted forms are provided to contractors with the most recent year’s data for planted woody stems in the plot (including a map of stems)

    • contractors update the VMD data form with current dimensions and status of planted woody stems

Vbd planted stem data entry species source

VBD Planted Stem Data Entry:Species & Source

  • Species Name - use Latin binomials, following your taxonomic standard

  • Source - was planted material Transplanted, Live staked, Balled and burlapped, Potted, Tubling, Bare Rooted, Mechanically planted, or is it Unknown?


Vbd planted stem data entry coordinates

VBD Planted Stem Data Entry:Coordinates

  • X and Y Coordinates relative to plot origin (same system used to specify location of posts):

    • in meters, to nearest decimeter (i.e., to 0.1 m precision)

    • values are binned (truncated) such that:

      • 0.0 - 0.099 m is 0.0m

      • 0.1 - 0.199 m is 0.1m

      • 0.2 - 0.299 m is 0.2m

      • and so on...

Vbd planted stem data entry stem dimensions

VBD Planted Stem Data Entry:Stem Dimensions

  • ddh - diameter (mm) at one decimeter height - of largest of multiple stems, but smallest dimension if elliptical, also binned

  • Height - height (cm) to tallest perennating organ (typically a terminal bud) of plant (tallest stem of multiple-stemmed plants), also binned:

    • Note that height precision drops to 10cm if the plant is >250cm and <400cm tall, and to 50cm if plant is >400cm tall.

  • DBH - diameter in cm at breast height (137 cm) for taller plants (largest of multiple stems), also binned

    • ddh, height, and DBH may be determined for different stems of the same plant, but these attributes are assigned to the individual plant

Measure what when

Measure What When?

Vbd planted stem data entry vigor and damage

VBD Planted Stem Data Entry:Vigor and Damage

  • Vigor - 4 (excellent) to 0 (dead) categories, plus Missing (for resurveys)

  • Damage - records observed injury to planted stems (many categories on data form)

Wrap up


  • Work efficiently!

  • Work safely!

    • the “bear” facts about safety

    • questions?

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