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The North Carolina Vegetation Survey. Robert K. Peet, Michael P. Schafale, Alan S. Weakley, Thomas R. Wentworth, & Peter S. White. What is the NCVS?.

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the north carolina vegetation survey

The North Carolina Vegetation Survey

Robert K. Peet, Michael P. Schafale, Alan S. Weakley, Thomas R. Wentworth, & Peter S. White

what is the ncvs
What is the NCVS?
  • A collaborative research program with the general goal of characterizing the natural vegetation of North Carolina and adjacent states (especially South Carolina)
what is the gang of seven gos
What is the Gang of Seven (GOS)?
  • NCVS had its origins in a meeting held at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in November, 1987
  • Seven individuals were present:

Norman Christensen Alan Weakley

Robert Peet Thomas Wentworth

Michael Schafale Peter White

Rob Sutter

who is the ncvs
Who is the NCVS?
  • The Gang of only four (GOOF)
  • Robert Peet, University of North Carolina

Convenor, data management, fieldwork coordination

  • Thomas Wentworth, North Carolina State University

Secretary, lodging, fieldwork logistics

  • Michael Schafale, North Carolina Heritage Program

Site identification and access

  • Alan Weakley, Association for Biological Information

Taxonomic information & services

  • Partners in crime – e.g. Cecil Frost, Pat McMillan, Dan Pittillo, Richard Porcher, Chris Ulrey
  • Volunteers–about 400 volunteers have worked over 2260 days
ncvs objectives
NCVS Objectives
  • Description, classification, and inventory of natural vegetation
  • Interpretation of vegetation-environment relationships
  • Long-term monitoring of ecosystem conditions
vision
Vision
  • On the web: The Carolina Vegetation Database
  • Revision of the National Vegetation Classification
  • A book: The Vegetation of the Carolinas
the ncvs protocol goals
The NCVS Protocol - Goals
  • Consistent methodology
  • Appropriate for most vegetation types
  • FGDC compliant and broadly compatible
  • Scale transgressive
  • Flexible in intensity of use and commitment of time
  • Easily resampleable
  • Includes total floristics and tree population structure
  • Includes major site variable, including soil attributes
the ncvs protocol specifics
The NCVS Protocol - Specifics
  • Castanea 1998 63:262-274
  • 10 x 10 m (= 1 are) basic module
  • 10 module preferred configuration
  • Species presence in nested quadrats
  • Stem tally area adjustable
data management tools
Data Management Tools
  • SAS-based quality control procedures
  • Access database
  • Carolina species codes
  • Nomenclature follows Kartesz 1999
the pulse approach
The Pulse Approach
  • Based on community collaboration
  • Intense regional focus for one week
  • “Bootcamp for botanists”?
  • “Botanical Woodstock”?
what pulse participants receive
What Pulse Participants Receive
  • Free T-shirt (usually)
  • Free lodging (usually)
  • Access to sites rarely available
  • Botanical and ecological experience
  • Taxonomic training
  • Contacts with regional field biologists
  • Insect bites, exercise, etc.
past pulses 1166 plots
Past Pulses (1166 plots)
  • 1988 NC Maritime Forest * 93 plots
  • 1989-90 NC Sandhills Longleaf Pine Woodlands * 122 plots
  • 1991-93 NC Coastal Plain Longleaf Pine Woodlands * 201 plots
  • 1994 NC Piedmont Vegetation – Uwharrie Nat. Forest * 78 plots
  • 1995 NC Pisgah Nat. Forest – Roan & Grandfather Mts * 74 plots
  • 1996 NC Nantahala Nat. Forest – Nantahala Mts * 91 plots
  • 1997 NC Highlands Plateau & Balsam Mountains * 93 plots
  • 1997-99 SC Coastal Fringe – Shell and Marl Forests *133 plots
  • 1998 NC Hickory Nut Gorge & Hot Springs Window * 74 plots
  • 1999 NC Amphibolite mts – Ashe & Watauga Counties *75 plots
  • 2000 NC Gorges State Park * 76 plots
  • 2000 SC Longleaf Pine & Maritime Forest *56 plots
supplementary studies 1384 plots
Supplementary Studies (1384 plots)
  • Roanoke River Floodplain – Steve Rice * 142 plots
  • Linville Gorge Wilderness – Claire Newell * 181 plots
  • Shinning Rock Wilderness – Claire Newell * 160 plots
  • Joyce Kilmer - Slick Rock Wilderness – Claire Newell * 185 plots
  • Ellicott Rock Wilderness – Karen Patterson * 57 plots
  • Montane Cedar Bluffs – Christine Small * 20 plots
  • Sandhills Longleaf Woodlands – Richard Duncan * 67 plots
  • SC Longleaf Woodlands – Eric Kjellmark * 131 plots
  • High-elevation Rock Outcrops – Susan Wiser * 154 plots
  • Carolina Bays – Tim Nifong * 287 plots
  • Mountain Rivers – Becky Brown * plots pending
who is missing
Who is missing?
  • Rare species
  • Weeds of fields and waste places
  • Plants of marshes and wetlands
  • Plants of special habitats
top 6 species in 521 pine woodland plots
Top 6 species in 521 pine-woodland plots
  • 91% Pinus palustris (Longleaf pine)
  • 75% Gaylussacia dumosa (Dwarf Huckleberry)
  • 72% Pityopsis graminifolia (Grass-leaved Goldenaster)
  • 63% Vaccinium tenellum (Small Black Blueberry)
  • 63% Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon)
  • 59% Ilex glabra (Inkberry Holly)
top 7 herbs in 521 pine woodland plots
Top 7 herbs in 521 pine-woodland plots
  • 72% Pityopsis graminifolia (Grass-leaved Goldenaster)
  • 56% Aristida stricta (Carolina Wiregrass)
  • 54% Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken Fern)
  • 50% Solidago odora (Anise-scented Goldenrod)
  • 43% Rhexia alifanus (Savannah Meadow-beauty
  • 42% Ionactis linariifolius (Stiff-leaved Aster
  • 42% Xyris caroliniana (Carolina Yellow-eyed-grass)
top 6 species in 1240 mountain plots
Top 6 species in 1240 mountain plots
  • 73% Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
  • 58% Quercus rubra (Red Oak)
  • 51% Smilax rotundifolia (Common Greenbrier)
  • 48% Kalmia latifolia (Mountain-laurel)
  • 47% Tsuga canadensis (Canada Hemlock)
  • 46% Smilax glauca (Whiteleaf Greenbrier)
top 6 herbs in 1240 mountain plots
Top 6 herbs in 1240 mountain plots
  • 40% Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)
  • 38% Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
  • 38% Solidago curtisii (Curtis’ Goldenrod)
  • 37% Polygonatum biflorum (King Solomon’s-seal)
  • 33% Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot)
  • 33% Maianthemum racemosum (Canada Mayflower)
top 7 species in 652 coastal plain forest plots
Top 7 species in 652 Coastal Plain forest plots
  • 48% Toxicodendron radicans (Poison-ivy)
  • 44% Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
  • 44% Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia-creeper)
  • 41% Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine)
  • 41% Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum)
  • 35% Smilax rotundifolia (Common Greenbrier)
  • 34% Smilax bona-nox (Catbrier)

(15 of the top 50 are vines)

ncvs report card
NCVS Report Card
  • North Carolina Pulses: 13
  • South Carolina Pulses: 4
  • Numerous affiliated projects
  • Total plots: > 2500
  • Total species: > 2300
financial support
Financial Support
  • US Forest Service – Savannah River Site (Longleaf Pine)
  • US Forest Service – Clean Air Program (NC Mountain Wilderness Areas)
  • US Forest Service – National Forests in NC (1994-1999 Pulses)
  • The Nature Conservancy (Roanoke River & Mellon Foundation)
  • NC Heritage Trust Fund & NC State Parks (1999-2000 Pulses)
  • NC Agricultural Research Service (NCSU projects)
  • National Park Service (Great Smoky Mountains)
  • National Science Foundation (Data management)
the future of the u s national vegetation classification
The future of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification
  • Continuously updated
  • Perfectly archived
  • Plot-based
  • Open process
  • Primary literature
the national plots database
The National Plots Database
  • Broadly flexible input & output
  • Web-accessible
  • Local client
  • Easily searchable
national taxonomic database
National Taxonomic Database?
  • Concept-based
  • Party-neutral
  • Synonymy and lineage tracking
  • Upgrade for ITIS & USDA PLANTS?
an invitation
An Invitation
  • June 2-9, 20012001 SC Coastal Fringe – Grasslands, Marshes, & Shrublands
  • July 14-22, 2001Western NC Piedmont & Adjacent Blue Ridge Escarpment
  • Contact Bob Peet: peet@unc.edu Tom Wentworth: tom_wentworth@ncsu.edu