Shenandoah National Park Long-Term Ecological Monitoring System Forest Monitoring Component Clipboard Protocols Replacing Lost Markings at a Permanent Sampling Site (SOP) # 6 Version 1.0 (01/10/2007) This SOP provides step-by-step instructions for replacing missing marking posts at permanent long term forest monitoring sites. A total of 160 monitoring plots were installed or upgraded between 2003 and 2005. During future visits it may be necessary to reinstall corner or midpoint posts that have been displaced or disappeared altogether. I. Equipment List Replacing lost markings will likely take place in conjunction with plot sampling. The equipment list in Appendix 6A should be referenced for these tasks. Copies of Data Sheets A, B, and C from the previous and/or plot installation visit are necessary to facilitate the reconstruction of the plot (Appendix 6B). The slope correction table is included in Appendix 6C. Extra rebar, blank aluminum caps, and stamps with corresponding numbers and letters should be carried into the field to replace missing posts and lost or damaged caps. II. Procedures A. Overview of Plot Marking and Monument Trees Each Shenandoah National Park forest monitoring sites consist of a 24m X 24m plot (Figure 6.1). The plots are laid out so that sides B and D run parallel to the aspect and sides A and C run perpendicular across the slope. Side A is always located on the uphill side of the plot. All sides of the plot are slope corrected to preserve a horizontal measurement of 24 meters. See SOP#4 Appendix 4B for the slope correction table. The bearings and slope corrected lengths of each side are documented on Data Sheet C (SOP#4 Appendix 4C). Side A Corner 1 Corner 2 C1 C2 REBAR Quad 1 Quad 2 FLAG Side D Side B Quad 3 Quad 4 C3 C4 Corner 3 Corner 4 Side C Figure 6.1. Plot diagram indicating the location of four corner and two midpoint rebar stakes. Side A is the uphill side of the plot and sides D and B run parallel to the slope. Six pieces of iron reinforcing bar (rebar) mark the four corners and two midpoints of sides A and C. The rebar posts are 18 – 24 inches long, ½ inch in diameter, painted with heat resistant bright orange engine paint, and the tips are dipped in white roofer‟s paint to enhance their visibility. An aluminum rebar cap embossed with “NPS”, the site number, plot number, and corner number is attached to the top of each corner post. For example, a cap might bear a code like this: 3L643-1-2, this stands for site number 3L643, Plot 1, Corner 2 (See Figure 6.2). NPS 3L643 1-2 Figure 6.2. Properly embossed corner post rebar cap. Three monument trees have been established for each corner post (Figure 6.3). Each tree has a brass tag marked with a unique number and affixed with a 5” steel nail. The heads of the nails on monument trees point toward the plot corner. The tree species, tag number, diameter at breast height (dbh), bearing, and distance from the tree center to the corner post can be found on Data Sheet B from the plot installation visit. Insert NAILS 30 cm from ground, angled downward, and head pointing toward post. BEARING DISTANCE from tree to post from tree center to post Inside Plot Figure 6.3. A plot corner with three tagged monument trees. B. Reinstalling Lost Marking Posts If corner or midpoint rebar posts have been displaced, they will need to be reinstalled to their original position as documented during plot installation on Data Sheet C. It is especially important that posts along sides A and C are accurately reinstalled as close to their original positions as possible to preserve the sampling area. To reestablish a corner post, measurements from adjacent corners and monument trees can be used to triangulate the proper location. Successful plot reconstruction relies very heavily on the careful placement of measuring tapes. All tape measures must be perfectly straight, and run as close to the ground surface as possible. Careful corrections need to be made whenever the tape runs over a log or rock that affects the distance measurement. It will save time overall if the tape is run out very carefully the first time. In some cases it may be easier and more accurate to run the tape above the ground surface. If this is done, make sure the tape is kept at a consistent height parallel to the slope. If needed the tape may be supported at intermediate distances. Step 1 - Use monument trees: Locate the three monument trees established for the missing corner. Reference site layout data sheets from previous visits for the bearing and distance from the monument tree to the plot corner. Bearings should be from the tree to the corner, and can be read with a hand compass. Distances should be measured from the center of the tree to the corner. Note: Occasionally you may find that a recorded bearing has an error of 180°. For each monument tree, place a blue flag in the ground at the point proposed for the corner. Write the monument tree number on the flag. The three flags should triangulate the general location of the corner. Step 2 - Use existing corners: Set up the staff compass over an existing adjacent corner and sight on the corner needing reinstallation. Determine the bearing from Data Sheet C. Use a chaining pin to anchor a tape measure at the known corner, and extend the tape toward the missing corner along this bearing for 24 horizontal meters. If the slope exceeds 1.5 degrees, reference the Plot Diagram Data Sheets for the slope corrected length of the side. Place a blue flag labeled with the name of the plot side just constructed at this proposed location for the corner. Repeat this process with the second adjacent corner. If everything has gone smoothly, the blue flags at the corner should be close together. The three monument tree flags are general reference points for the probable location of the missing corner. The two blue flags based off of measurements from adjacent corners should be within 1.0 m of one another. Remember that the lengths of sides A and C need to be reconstructed to match the original parameters. The blue flag completing side A or C thus becomes the new corner. If the distance between the two blue flags measured from adjacent corners is greater than 1.0 m, a measurement error exists. All boundary measurements must be re-measured until the error is corrected and the distance between the two blue flags at the corner is less than 1.0 m. Verify the new side lengths and bearings and edit the Plot Diagram Data Sheet C if changes have occurred. Step 3 – Install a New Post: Once the location of the missing corner has been determined, reinstall the piece of 24” rebar and rebar cap. If the old stake and cap are missing, emboss a new cap and attach it to a new piece of rebar. Use a two pound hammer to pound the rebar and attached cap into the ground. Place a block of wood on top of the cap before hammering to preserve the embossed numbers. At least half the length of the rebar should be firmly pounded into the ground. Once installed, the aluminum rebar cap marks the exact location of the corner. In some cases, the rebar will need to be pounded in at an angle to avoid loose soil or rocks at the desired stake location. In such cases, the permanent corner marker should be driven into the ground such that a vertical line from the top of the rebar (rebar cap) marks the exact location of the corner (Figure 6.4). If the corner is on solid rock and the rebar cannot be placed, paint a 3 x 3 cm “X” onto the rock surface with bright red engine paint. Clean the rock surface of dirt, lichen, and moss before applying the paint. If no stake is placed, this should be clearly noted on the site description form. Figure 6.4. A plot marking stake correctly positioned to indicate a point location occurring on a rock. The vertical line from the rebar cap indicates the point location. (Image modified from Smith and Torbert, 1990.) C. Missing or Unreadable Rebar Caps The rebar caps will need to be replaced if they are weathered and no longer readable, have been chewed on extensively by animals, or have completely vanished. Use the number and letter stamps and emboss a new rebar cap with the appropriate site, plot, and corner designations. Reattach the cap to the rebar stake with a two pound hammer and place back in the ground at the exact location of the corner. D. Midpoint Markers If the rebar marking the midpoints of side A or C is missing, stretch a tape measure across the side from the corners. Find the measure location of the midpoint on the Plot Diagram Data Sheet. Reinstall the midpoint at this measurement with a 24” piece of painted rebar pounded in with a two pound hammer. The tip of the rebar marks the location of the midpoint. E. Missing Monument Trees Tree mortality sometimes results in the loss of a monument tree. Before choosing a new monument tree, every effort should be made to locate the missing monument tree, and to verify that it has indeed fallen and is not just difficult to find. If a monument tree has fallen, a new tree will need to be selected. Instructions for Monument Tree Establishment a. Each monument tree should be located within 20 meters of the plot corner. Each tree should be of a long-lived species that is healthy and free of major defects that could reduce longevity. Possible tree species include, but are not limited to, the oaks (Quercus), ashes (Fraxinus), hickories (Carya), red maple (Acer rubrum), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), and yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Ideally, the life expectancy of a monument tree should be 30 or more years. Try to select monument trees from a variety of species so that they will not all be susceptible to the same diseases or insects. b. Each monument tree is marked with a 5 inch stainless steel nail and uniquely numbered brass tag placed approximately 30 cm up the trunk from the ground surface. c. Choose the point of nail insertion so that the head of the nail will point directly toward the corner post being monumented. d. Pound the nail in at a slight downward angle, so that the tag will naturally fall to the head of the nail and not be “eaten” by the tree as it grows. Install the nail firmly into the tree so that approximately three inches of length remain outside the trunk. Make sure the nail is firmly imbedded in the tree. e. Record the tree‟s species, diameter at breast height (DBH) and tag number on datasheet B (SOP #4 Appendix 4C). f. Determine the bearing from the monument tree to the plot corner, and the distance from the center point of the monument tree to the plot corner on data sheet B. Be sure to determine the bearings in true (not magnetic) coordinates. Tree Sampling (SOP) # 7 Version 1.3 (03/29/2007) This SOP gives step-by-step instructions for measuring trees within each plot. It covers how to measure the diameter on trees with different trunk characteristics and abnormalities. This SOP describes the procedure for collecting data and filling in Data Sheet D “Tree Data” located in Appendix 7A. 1. Equipment List Large, 5 m diameter tape measuring in centimeters to 0.1 cm Small, 2 m diameter tape measuring in centimeters to 0.1 cm Measuring tape or PVC pipe indicating 1.07 m and 1.37 m Chalk paddle Paint Marker Clipboard Pencil Data Sheet D (three sheets) Field Guides/Manuals (e.g. Peterson‟s Trees and Shrubs, Manual of the Vascular Plants of the Northeast) Shenandoah National Park Vascular Plant Species List 2. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a data recorder and an observer skilled in plant identification can complete the tasks described below efficiently. Enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheet D (see Appendix 7A). Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For examples the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3. Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the tree sampling using capital letters. Tree Measurements Trees are defined as woody vegetation (live or dead) with a diameter greater than or equal to 10 cm and height greater than 1.37 m. Diameter is measured at breast height, known as DBH, which is 1.37 m above the ground. All trees rooted within the 24 x 24 meter plot will be measured. The central point of a tree growing near the plot edge defines its location. The location of trees growing along the plot edge can be drawn in on Data Sheet C to aid future sampling efforts. Each tree within the plot will be assigned to one of four quadrants (see Figure 7.1). Note that the center point of each side of the plot is marked with a flag or rebar. If the vegetation is dense, two 30 m tape measures may be run to physically divide the plot into quadrants. Sample trees one quadrant at a time to minimize confusion. After the data for a tree have been collected, mark the tree with chalk so that it is not accidentally sampled twice. Figure 7.1. Plot layout diagram for Shenandoah National Park Terrestrial LTEMS program. DATA FIELDS – Data Sheet D: Fill in the data fields as listed below. Tag #: If the tree has an attached tag, record the number of the tree tag. The tree tag will be attached at a height of 30 centimeters. Each trunk of a multiple-trunk or forked tree will have its own tag. If a tree has two tags, a monument tree tag as well as a plot tree tag, note the monument tree tag in the notes column and the plot tree tag under the tree tag column. Quad: Record the quadrant (1, 2, 3 or 4) in which the tree is located. The location of a tree is determined by its center point. Trees growing on the plot edge are documented as code #8 in the note field of the data sheet. Species: Record the species of each tree using the six letter species code. These codes are available on the park species list (See SOP #2). DBH: The diameter at breast height of each tree is measured in centimeters to the nearest 0.1cm using a diameter tape. DBH measurements are taken 1.37 meters above the ground on the uphill side of the tree. It is imperative for data collection consistency that each crew member is measuring diameter at the proper height on each tree. Each crew member should become familiar with where the 1.37 m height falls on the front of his/her body/shirt. Then, they can stand very close to the tree to determine the proper height for measuring the diameter. A PVC pole marked at 1.37m can also be placed along the trunk of the tree to determine where diameter is to be measured. The use of the PVC pole will increase accuracy. Follow these rules when measuring trees: 1. Make certain that you are reading the correct side of the DBH tape; often one side has standard centimeters and the other side has units calibrated to give the diameter in centimeters when wrapped around the circumference of the tree. Read off of the calibrated side of the tape. First press the hook at the end of the tape into the bark and then run the tape around the trunk, ensuring that the tape is straight and pulled perpendicular to the axis of the trunk. Tapes not run straight will give an overestimate for the trunk diameter. Wrap the tape tightly around the tree and read the number where the tape crosses the zero mark at the beginning (hook end) of the tape (See Figure 7.2). Figure 7.2. The diameter of a very large Quercus rubra (red oak) at LTEMS site 1L505 was measured to be 151.5 cm. Shenandoah National Park. Photo by Alan Williams NPS. 2. There are established rules for measuring the diameter of trees exhibiting various growth and bole characteristics (See Figure 7.3). Diameter is always measured perpendicular to the bole axis. Trees with a lean have their diameter measured 1.37 m up along the bole axis. When on a slope, trees are measured on the uphill side of the tree. The trunks of a tree forking below 0.3 m are counted as separate trees and are measured at 1.37 m above the ground. The location of the fork is defined as the point on the trunk where the centers of the forks diverge. When trees are encountered that fork above 0.3 m and below DBH the separate trunks are measured 1.07 m above the fork. The forked trunks are recorded as separate trees on the data sheet and a bracket is placed in the left hand margin to group trunks arising from a shared base. If another fork is encountered before 1.07 m is reached, measure the bole just below where the flair of this upper fork begins. 3. When irregularities occur at DBH, including swellings, bumps, depressions, and branches, diameter is measured immediately above the irregularity where the stem takes on a normal form (Zedaker and Nicholas 1989). Trees with swollen bases rising higher than 0.91 m are measured 0.46 m above the top of the swelling. Trees with swelling below 0.91 m are measured at standard DBH. Figure 7.3 provides further illustrations on what to do when trunk irregularities are encountered. 4. It is very important that tree diameter is measured at the same point along the bole from sampling year to sampling year. Trees with irregularities, pronounced leans, swellings, branches, forks, or other bole imperfections that make measurement at 1.37m above the ground difficult need to be permanently marked at the point of diameter measurement. Use a paint marker and place several marks around the bole of the tree at the point of measurement. Note this action in the „Codes/Notes‟ section of the data sheet. During future sampling visits the tree will be remeasured at this exact location along the bole and the paint markings should be repainted to ensure there persistence until the next visit. Figure 7.3. Locations of diameter at breast height (DBH) measurements for a variety of bole form situations. DBH measurements will always be taken perpendicular to the bole axis as illustrated (modified from USDA Forest Service 1985). Crown Health: Evaluate the density of each tree‟s crown and assign it to one of five categories. When assessing the crown health of a tree it must be done in relation to crowns of the same species located in a similar position within the canopy, and from a similar habitat, assuming no insect outbreaks or other damaging occurrences. Crown health codes are defined at the bottom of Data Sheet D. Classes 1 through 4 refer to the estimated amount of the foliage that is intact, expressed as a percent, (Class 1 = 90-100%, Class 2 = 50-89%, Class 3 = 16-49%, and Class 4 = 0.1 – 15%). Class 5 is used to designate standing dead trees. Dead trees are considered standing if they have a lean of 45 degrees or less, have an overall height greater than 1.37 meters, and are still rooted to the ground. Standing dead trees that have broken off are counted if the break is above DBH height. Crown Class: Determine the most appropriate crown class for each live tree according to its canopy position. Crown Class codes are defined at the bottom of the tree plot data form: D= Dominant, C = Codominant, I = Intermediate, S = Suppressed/Overtopped (Figure 7.4). Dominant trees have crowns extending above the general level of the main canopy of adjacent trees and receive full light from above and partly from the sides. Codominant trees have crowns forming the general level of the main canopy of adjacent trees and receive full light from above and comparatively little from the sides. Intermediate trees have crowns extending into the lower portion of the main canopy of adjacent trees, but are shorter in height than the codominants. They receive little direct light from above and none from the sides. Usually intermediate crown-classed trees have small crowns that are crowded on the sides. Suppressed / Overtopped trees have crowns entirely below the general level of the canopy of adjacent trees, and receive no direct light from above or from the sides. Figure 7.4. The relative positions of trees using four classes for crown classification. D =Dominant; C = Codominant; I = Intermediate; and S = Suppressed/Overtopped. Codes / Notes: If needed, notes on the condition and/or location of a tree may be noted using the Codes / Notes section of the data sheet. A maximum of three tree condition attributes can be recorded per tree. Nine codes are available including: 1 – Top Missing, 2 – Insect Damage, 3 – Animal Damage, 4 – Stem Disease, 5 – Lean > 45%, 6 – Lightning Damage, 7 – Ice Damage, 8 – Tree located on boundary of plot, 9 – Other (specify). The numeric codes for Codes / Notes are also found at the bottom of Data Sheet D. Most of the time more than one data sheet is required to record the sampling information for all trees in plot. Fill in the proper page number in the upper right corner of the data sheet. Three Data Sheet D pages are recommended for each plot. Finally, check the datasheet for errors or omissions and initial in the top left corner („Field check‟). Measuring Shrub and Sapling Abundance (SOP) #8 Version 1.1 (01/11/2007) This SOP gives step-by-step instructions for measuring shrub and sapling abundance in two 2 x 24 m slope corrected belt transects (Figure 1). Refer to SOPs #4, 5 and 6 for details concerning the establishment of a sample site and its two 2 x 24 m belt transects. This SOP describes the procedures for collecting data and filling in Data Forms E1 and E2 “Shrub Data” (see Appendices 8A and 8B for these data sheets). 1. Equipment List Clipboard Pencils Shrub data sheets (Data Sheet E1 and E2) Plot Description data sheet (Data Sheet C, completed during LTEMS plot installation) 2.4 m PVC pole (marked at 0.5 m, 1.37 m, 1.5 m, 2.0 m and every cm thereafter) Small metal ruler Small (2m) DBH tape Field Guides/Manuals (e.g. Newcomb‟s Wildflower Guide, Manual of the Vascular Plants of the Northeast) Shenandoah National Park Vascular Plant Species List Plastic bags (for collecting plants) 2. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a data recorder and an observer skilled in plant identification can complete the tasks described below efficiently. Side A Corner 1 Corner 2 24 m 2m Side D 24 m Side B Corner 3 Corner 4 Side C Figure 8.1. Plot diagram showing the two 2 x 24 m belt transects from which shrub and sapling data are collected (shaded areas within the diagram). Once tape measures are stretched between the four corner posts forming the monitoring site‟s plot perimeter, enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheets E1 and E2. Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For examples the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3. Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) on the form. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the shrub species surveys using capital letters. Averaged Shrub Plot Width: Enter the averaged shrub plot width determined on Data Sheet C. This is the slope- corrected width of the shrub belt transect in meters. The width is determined using the slope correction table available in Appendix 4B. Example: A plot slope of 15° yields an average shrub plot width of 2.07m. Shrub and Sapling Measurements Shrubs and saplings are defined as woody vegetation <10 cm DBH and > 1.5 m in height. These shrubs must be rooted inside the transect sampling areas to be counted. Shrub height is determined from stems as they are naturally growing. Height is measured vertically from the stem base, not along the axis of the stem. Stems should not be straightened by hand prior to measurement. Diameter is taken at a vertical distance of 1.37 m above the ground, measured from the shrub/sapling base. Shrub and sapling sampling occurs in each of the two 2 x 24 m belt transects and is recorded using Data Forms E 1 and E 2 (Shrub Data). The area of the belt transects is defined by using a 2.4 m PVC pole held parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the plot edge while walking the length of plot sides A and C. Before beginning to sample, use a rubber band to mark the PVC pole at the correct length to provide the proper slope-corrected plot width. Use datasheet E1 for the transect along side A of the plot, and datasheet E2 for the transect along side C of the plot. The data sheet is divided into four separate blocks based on the following diameter classes: 0.1 cm – 1.0 cm, >1.0 cm – 2.5 cm, >2.5 cm – 5.0 cm, >5.0 cm to <10.0 cm. Species: Record the species of each shrub/sapling in the proper diameter class using the six letter species code. These codes are available on the park species list (See SOP #2). Dot Tally: Within each transect, dot tally stems by species within each of the four diameter classes. Species that cannot be identified in the field should be listed on the datasheet as UNKSPP1, UNKSPP2, etc., collected from outside the LTEMS plot and placed in a plastic bag for later identification. Bags should be labeled with the plot number, unknown species code, data sheet letter, date, and collector. Individual stems are counted according to the following rules as defined by the North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et. al. 1998). Non-forking stems that equal or exceed 1.5 meters in height are measured at DBH. Stems, which originate from a fork less than 0.5 meters above the ground, are measured at DBH if the stem reaches or exceeds 1.5 meters in height. Any shrub stem that forks above 0.5 meters and below 1.37 m is measured just below the fork if both stems reach 1.5 meters in height (Figure 8.2). Total: Add up the dot tally marks for each species within each diameter class and then write in the numeric total values in the Total # Row after the transect has been read. Once sampling is complete, check the datasheet for errors or omissions and initial in the top left corner („Field check‟). 1.5 m Shrub Height 1.37 m DBH Point of Measurement 0.5 m Figure 8.2. Diagram of shrub and sapling stems indicating the correct measurement point for forked and unforked stems. Measuring Seedling/Sprout Density (SOP) # 9 Version 1.2 (1/18/2007) This SOP describes the procedure for measuring the stem density of woody plants less than 1.5 m tall with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of less than 10 cm. Sampling is done in two 0.5 m X 12 m slope corrected belt transects in each LTEMS plot. The required data form, Data Sheet F, can be found in Appendix 9A and the slope correction table can be found in SOP #4 Appendix 4B. 1. Equipment List Clipboard Pencils Seedling data sheets (Data Sheet F1 and F2) Plot Description data sheet (Data Sheet C, completed during LTEMS plot installation) 0.6 m PVC pole (marked at 0.15 m, 0.5 m, and every cm thereafter) Field Guides/Manuals (e.g. Newcomb‟s Wildflower Guide, Manual of the Vascular Plants of the Northeast) Shenandoah National Park Vascular Plant Species List Plastic bags (for collecting plants) 2. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a data recorder and an observer skilled in plant identification can complete the tasks described below efficiently. Seedlings and sprouts are defined as woody vegetation (woody at any stage in their life cycle) less than 1.5 m tall, with a DBH of less than 10 cm. Species classified as „half-shrubs‟ or „subshrubs‟ would be included in this category (Table 9.1). Seedling height is measured from the base of the plant vertically to the highest extension of the plant as it is naturally growing. Do not manually „stand up‟ a plant to measure its height. For sampling purposes, seedlings will be divided into two size classes, less than 15 cm and equal to or greater than 15 cm in height. Taxon Spp Code Common Name Stratum Chimaphila maculata CHIMAC striped wintergreen Shrub Chimaphila umbellata CHIUMB pipsissewa Shrub Epigaea repens EPIREP trailing arbutus Shrub Gaultheria procumbens GAUPRO teaberry Shrub Hypericum hypericoides HYPHYP St. Andrews cross Shrub Mitchella repens MITREP partridgeberry Herb Vinca minor VINMIN periwinkle Shrub Table 9.1. Intermediate life-forms likely to be encountered in the LTEMS plots and the stratum in which they should be included. Enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheet F (see Appendix 9A). Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For examples the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3. Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the seedling sampling using capital letters. Averaged plot width: Enter the seedling plot width determined on Data Sheet C. This is the slope-corrected width of the seedling belt transect in meters. The width is determined using the Slope Correction Table available in Appendix 4B. Example: A plot slope of 15° yields an average seedling plot width of 0.52 m. Seedling Measurements Seedlings and sprouts are tallied by species within two 0.5 m x 12 m belt transects in the LTEMS plot along sides A and C from the side midpoints to Corners 2 and 3 (Figure 1). The dimensions of each transect are adjusted if on a slope greater than 1.5°. Run a tape measure between the two rebar stakes at the subplot endpoints (i.e. the midpoint and corner of the plot at side A or C). Define the width of the area to be Side A Corner 1 Corner 2 24 m 0.5 m 12 m Side D 24 m Side B Corner 3 Corner 4 Side C Figure 9.1. Plot diagram showing belt transects used to measure seedling density (shaded areas of the plot). sampled by extending a PVC pole from the tape measure parallel to the ground. Remember to adjust the length of the PVC pipe according to the slope-corrected subplot width. A rubber band placed on the pipe at the appropriate length is helpful. Two data sheets are provided, F1 for side A and F2 for side C. Each data sheet is divided in two with species less than 15 cm in height being entered in the top block under „<15 cm‟ and the taller plants being entered in the bottom block under „≥15 cm‟. Beginning at one end of the subplot and using the PVC pipe as a guide to the subplot width, tally the number of stems of each species in each height category encountered as you move along the tape measure to the other end of the subplot. Use the 15 cm mark on the PVC pipe to determine the height class of seedlings. Species: Record the species of each seedling using the six letter species code. These codes are available on the park species list (See Appendix 2B). Dot Tally: Stem counts should be recorded as dot tallies in the block provided. Count discrete units (i.e. ramets) as single stems. A clump of stems united at or above the forest floor would be counted as a single unit. For clonal species (e.g. Vaccinium pallidum) that are connected by subterranean rhizomes, each stem would be counted. Seedling-sized sprouts that are obviously connected to a tree or shrub (i.e. connected at or above ground level) are not counted. Species that cannot be identified in the field should be listed on the data sheet as UNKSPP1, UNKSPP2, etc., collected from outside the LTEMS plot and placed in a plastic bag for later identification. Bags should be labeled with the plot number, unknown species code, data sheet letter, date and collector. Total: Add the dot tally for each species and record the sum in the „Total‟ row. Additional notable native species in 24 m X 24 m plot: Note any additional noteworthy species encountered in the LTEMS plot, but not captured in any of the other sampling methods at the bottom of Data Sheet F. Check the data sheet for errors or omissions and initial in the top left corner („Field check‟). Determining Percent Cover of Invasive Exotic Plants, Herbs, and Groundcover, and Identifying the Vegetation Community Association (SOP) # 10 Version 1.3 (03/29/2007) This SOP describes the procedure for estimating the percent cover of selected invasive exotic plants, herbaceous plants, and groundcover types in each LTEMS plot. The procedure for identifying the vegetation community association is also described within this SOP. The Appendices to this SOP contain the required data form (Data Sheet G) in Appendix 10A and Key to the Natural Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in Appendix 10B. 1. Equipment List Clipboard Pencils Exotic/Herb/Groundcover/VegAssoc data sheet (Data Sheet G) Key to the Natural Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park Field Guides/Manuals (e.g. Newcomb‟s Wildflower Guide, Manual of the Vascular Plants of the Northeast) Shenandoah National Park Vascular Plant Species List Plastic bags (for collecting plants) 2. Collecting and Recording Data A single individual familiar with the region‟s herbaceous flora can complete the sampling for these tasks. Alternatively, a team of an observer and a data recorder may be employed. Before beginning data collection, fill out the top portion of Data Sheet G as follows: Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For examples the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3. Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the sampling using capital letters. Plot Sampling Exotic Species An ocular estimate of coverage for each of twelve exotic plant species (listed on Data Sheet G) is made for the entire 24 m x 24 m LTEMS plot. The following cover classes are used in making the determination (Figure 10.1): 0% 0.1% 1% - 2.1% - 5.1% - 10% - 25% - 50% - 75% - 95% - -0.9% 2.0% 5% 10% 25% 50% 75% 95% 100% Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Figure 10.1. Cover class system for exotic species, herbaceous species, and groundcover. The entire plot should be examined, first by walking the plot perimeter, then by walking the diagonals from corner 1 to corner 4 and from corner 2 to corner 3. Keep in mind that one percent of the plot is equal to a square area 2.4 m on a side. To aid in visualizing cover classes, Figure 10.2 presents the midpoint coverage of each cover class. Cover Class: Record the cover class for each of the twelve exotic species encountered. Species not observed in the plot should be assigned a „1‟ value to indicate that they were included in the search effort. Class 2: Midpoint = 0.5% Class 3: Midpoint = 1.5% Class 4: Midpoint = 3.5% Class 5: Midpoint = 7.5% Class 6: Midpoint = 17.5% Class 7: Midpoint = 37.5% Class 8: Midpoint = 62.5% Class 9: Midpt=85% Class 10: Midpoint = ==+885% 97.5% Figure 10.2. Midpoint coverages within each cover class (modified from Jenkins 2006). Herbs Examine the entire LTEMS plot and list the five most dominant (by aerial coverage) herbaceous species (native or exotic) under „Herbs‟ on Data Sheet G. Species: Record the species of each herb using the six letter species code. These codes are available on the Park Species List (See Appendix 2B). See Table 10.1 for a list of potentially confusing semi-woody species and their proper strata. Species that cannot be identified in the field should be recorded using an unknown species code (UNKSPP1, UNKSPP2, etc), collected outside of the plot and placed in a plastic bag for later identification. Bags should be labeled with the site ID #, unknown species code, data sheet letter, date, and collector. Bring the specimen(s) back to the office for identification by a staff botanist. Taxon Spp Code Common Name Stratum Chimaphila maculata CHIMAC striped wintergreen Shrub Chimaphila umbellata CHIUMB pipsissewa Shrub Epigaea repens EPIREP trailing arbutus Shrub Gaultheria procumbens GAUPRO teaberry Shrub Hypericum hypericoides HYPHYP St. Andrews cross Shrub Mitchella repens MITREP partridgeberry Herb Vinca minor VINMIN periwinkle Shrub Table 10.1. Intermediate life-forms likely to be encountered in the LTEMS plots and the stratum in which they should be included. Cover Class: Assign a cover class to each herb using the system shown above for exotic species (Figures 10.1 and 10.2). Groundcover Examine the entire LTEMS plot for leaf litter, organic soil, mineral soil, rock and moss. Leaf litter includes freshly cast leaves and leaf fragments, as well as the partially decomposed duff layer. Organic soil includes a combination of decomposed organic matter and mineral soil, is often dark brown-black in color and usually contains many plant roots. Mineral soil lacks the dark organic matter of organic soil and is most often seen in tip-up mounds or in sparsely vegetated, rocky areas. Cover Class: Assign a cover class to each ground cover type, using the system above for exotic species (Figures 10.1 and 10.2). Additional notable species (exotic or native) within plot: Any additional notable species not recorded during other sampling should be recorded and their cover class estimated in the lower right corner of the data sheet. This would include any additional exotic species, park, state or globally rare species, species exhibiting reduced vigor, etc. Species should be noted here using their 6-digit LTEMS code found on the Species List in SOP #2 and assigned a cover class. SHEN Natural Vegetation Community Associations The park‟s natural communities have been classified into 34 association-level vegetation communities based on the National Vegetation Community System. The associations within each LTEMS plot are being identified to increase the accuracy of the vegetation community map produced for the park. Utilize the dichotomous „Key To The Natural Vegetation Of Shenandoah National Park‟ to determine the appropriate community located within each plot. The back page of the key contains the „List Of Indicator Species For Vegetation Classes Cited In The Key‟. See the final report (Young et. al. 2006) for complete information on the Vegetation Mapping Program. CEGL: Fill in the CEGL number of the vegetation association identified. For example, CEGL006255. Community: Fill in the community association name within this box. For example, Northern Blue Ridge Montane Alluvial Forest. Before leaving the field, check Data Sheet G for errors or omissions. Initial the sheet in the upper left hand corner („Field check‟). Sampling Coarse Woody Debris and Fine Fuels (SOP) # 11 Version 1.1 (02/12/2007) This SOP gives step-by-step instructions for monitoring large and small diameter dead and downed woody debris. The sampling method used here is a modification of a Brown‟s Transect. The coarse woody debris (CWD) sampling procedures in this protocol have been adapted from Tierney and Mitchell 2006. The fine woody fuels sampling is modeled, with some variation, on the protocol for Monitoring Dead and Downed Fuel Load in the National Park Service Fire Effects Monitoring Handbook, pages 103-105, available on-line at: http://www.nps.gov/fire/download/fir_eco_FEMHandbook2003.pdf. This SOP describes the procedure for collecting data and filling in Data Sheet H “Woody Debris and Soils” located in Appendix 11A. 1. Equipment List Clipboard Pencil Data Sheet H Data Sheet C (for bearings of sides A and B) Compass Clinometer Go-No-Go Instrument Two 30 m tape measure dbh tape (measuring in centimeters to 0.1 cm) Ruler (metric, 30 cm) Woody debris sampled through this protocol is divided into two categories, coarse woody debris and fine woody fuels. CWD is here defined as large branches, stems, and boles of trees and shrubs ≥ 10 cm in diameter and ≥ 1.0 m in length that have fallen or broken off and lie on or above the ground. This is measured as an indicator of forest age and habitat for other organisms. Fine woody fuels are defined as branches, stems, and twigs (but not cones, bark, needles and leaves) up to 3 inches in diameter that have fallen or broken off and lie on or above the ground. As the name implies, these are measured as indices of potential fire behavior and intensity. There are three size classes of fine fuels: 0.0 inches <1-hour fuels < 0.25 inches 0.25 inches < 10-hour fuels <1.0 inches 1.0 inches < 100- hour fuels < 3.0 inches Diameters of woody debris are measured at the point where they are intersected along the sampling plane. The sampling plane can be visualized by imagining a paper thin wall extending both up and down from the right edge of the measuring tape. Measurement of all woody debris is taken perpendicular to its central axis at the point where the tape crosses (Figure 11.1). Figure 11.1. Tally rules for dead and down fuel (from Coulston 2003). Count all intersections including each individual intersection of a curved piece. All intersections must include the central axis in order to be tallied. Note: this protocol calls for reading along the right edge of the tape, not the left edge as illustrated in the figure. CWD is measured in metric units and fine fuels are measured in English units. The reason for this incongruity in sampling is that the data are used separately by different resource managers. In order to make the data compatible and comparable with other regional data sets, the protocol is set up in this manner. 2. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a data recorder and a data collector can complete the tasks described below efficiently. Enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheet H (see Appendix 11A). Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For example the code 1L213 -1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3 Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the woody debris sampling using capital letters. Transects A and B will originate at Corner 2 and extend outside of the plot for 15 meters (no slope correction) along the extensions of Sides A and B. As the two transects are established, fill in these headings on the data sheet: Bearing: The bearing for the “Side A Extension” is the same as the bearing for side A. The bearing for the “Side B Extension” is the bearing of side B PLUS 180 degrees. Record these bearings on the appropriate lines in the left hand margin of the data sheet. Slope: Slope percent is recorded on the data sheet below the bearing for each transect. Measure slope (from end to end) to the nearest one half percent. The observer with a clinometer should stand over the rebar at transect origin and sight at a known height on the second person located at the 15 m mark. The known height is the approximate location of the observer‟s eye height on the second person. Sampling – Fine Woody Fuels # of intercepts. Any dead and down woody material intersected by the plane is tallied in the columns under the corresponding size class (Figure 11.1). Do not count stems and branches attached to standing shrubs or trees. Once again, size classes are defined as follows: 0.0 inches <1-hour fuels < 0.25 inches 0.25 inches < 10-hour fuels <1.0 inches 1.0 inches < 100- hour fuels < 3.0 inches Use the Go-No-Go gauge with openings of 0.25, 1 and 3 inches to easily determine the appropriate size class of material encountered along the transect (Figure 11.2). You will dot tally in the 1-hour, 10-hour and 100-hour size classes for the designated distances (noted under “Transect Lengths (ft)” at top of data sheet). 1-hour and 10-hour fuels are only measured within the first 6 feet (1.83 m) of the transect. 100-hour fuels are measured within the first 12 feet (3.66 m) of the transect. These lengths are measured out from Corner 2 (the start point). Figure 11.2. Example of a Go-No-Go Gauge. The tool can be cut from 1/16 or 1/3-inch sheet aluminum. (Brown, 1974) Sampling – Coarse Woody Debris Coarse woody debris is greater than or equal to 10 cm in diameter and greater than or equal to 1.0 m in length. CWD includes large branches, stems, and boles of trees and shrubs that have fallen or broken off and lie on or above the ground. Dead trees leaning greater than 45 degrees from vertical are also counted as CWD. Extremely decomposed logs which appear only as slightly elevated „humps‟ on the ground and have no structural integrity are not included within the definition of CWD. CWD is measured along the entirety of each 15 m transect. Transect: Fill in the correct transect side („A‟ or „B‟) for the piece of CWD encountered. Diameter: Measure the diameter to the nearest 0.1 cm. Measurement of all coarse woody debris is taken perpendicular to its central axis at the point where the transect tape crosses. If the piece of wood is not resting on the ground and is within reach, use a dbh tape to ascertain the diameter. Otherwise, measure the diameter by holding a ruler or tape measure above the log. To avoid parallax error, position your eyes directly over each end of the tape in sequence. If the portion of the bole intersected by the sampling plane is out of reach overhead, estimate the diameter. Visually assess rotten logs as a cylinder and estimate the diameter. This reconstructed diameter should reflect the existing wood mass, not the original sound diameter. Decay Class: Record the code indicating the predominant decay class (greater than 50% of the piece) along the length of the pieces as determined from the table below. See Table 11.1 for decay class descriptions and Figure 11.2 for decay class illustrations. If no single class dominates, average the decay classes present. For example, a log with sections totaling 15% class 2, 40% class 3, 40% class 4 and 5% class 5 would be classified as decay class 3. Decay Log shape and Color of Exposed Primary surface Branches and Class Bark Integrity Wood substrate twigs Fresh color, not 1 stained by Branches retain Firmly attached Round and solid weathering Sound bark many small twigs Decayed bark and hard If present, May be bleached wood - impenetrable with 2 decayed, faded and relatively fingernail or pen point, may and not firmly smooth (like be case hardened with Branches retain attached Round and solid driftwood) powder wood beneath some small twigs Soft wood - will spring back if compressed 3 Generally absent, and easily penetrated except in Betula with fingernail or pen and Prunus Round and firm point No small twigs Very spongy wood - Oval or flattened, responds to finger pressure no longer a solid and may exude moisture - 4 piece though some and powder wood - flows hard chunks through fingers like coarse Absent remain sawdust No small twigs Quite flat or flat 5 with some Loosely aggregated Absent rounding powder wood No small twigs Table 11.1. Coarse Woody Debris Decay Class Codes. Adapted from Pyle and Brown 1998. Figure 11.2. Decay stages of down deadwood in eastern deciduous forests. Adapted from Pyle and Brown (1998). Length: Record the length of the piece that qualifies as CWD to the nearest 0.1 m. From the small end, begin measurement at the point that diameter is at least 10 cm and above ground, and measure to the point that the log either ends, goes underground or deteriorates to less than 10 cm diameter. For curved logs, measure along the curve. The minimum length recorded by this protocol is 1 m. Finally, check the data sheet for errors or omissions and initial in the top left corner („Field check‟). Sampling Forest Soils (SOP) # 12 Version 1.1 (05/08/2007) This SOP gives step-by-step instructions for collecting a soil sample from each monitoring site, filling in Data Sheet H “CWD and Soils Data” located in Appendix 12A, and processing the soil sample upon return to the office. Soils strongly influence many of the processes occurring within a forest ecosystem and are in return influenced by the species present and inputs into the system (precipitation, nitrogen deposition, acid deposition, etc…). Thus, it is important to document soil properties and any changes in soils that may occur over time. Regulations Governing Sample Collection. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) provides for the protection of historical and cultural artifacts. Due to the random placement of plots, a soil sampling site may impact a site of prehistoric or historical significance. Park archeologists or cultural resource specialists will be contacted prior to field season in order to obtain permission to sample. However, if cultural artifacts are encountered at a plot, do not take soil samples. Code the site as not sampled and record a plot note explaining why soil samples were not taken. 1. Equipment List Clipboard Pencil Data Sheet H Data Sheet C (for bearings of sides A and B) Soil samplings auger Trowel Ruler (metric to 30 cm) 2.4 m PVC pole or 30m measuring tape 2. Definitions (adapted from Sanders 2007) A horizon – Sometimes referred to as topsoil, this is the layer of soil located below the O horizon and above the E horizon. This layer is primarily mineral soil, with accumulation of organic matter, typically giving a dark color. The A horizon is where seed germination typically occurs. B horizon – Typically the layer of mineral soil immediately below the E horizon; this layer is generally darker than the E horizon, formed by translocation and accumulation of material from overlying horizons. C horizon – The layer of mineral soil below the B horizon; this layer consists mainly of unconsolidated parent material and is mostly unaffected by the biological and chemical processes occurring in the above soil horizons. Duff – The layer of decomposing organic material below the leaf litter and above the mineral soil. This layer is distinguished from litter by its degree of decomposition - within duff the origin of the organic matter can no longer be identified (e.g., as leaves, twigs, etc.). The material in the duff layer is typically held together by fungal mycelia. E horizon – Typically the layer of mineral soil immediately below the A horizon; this layer is generally lighter in color than both the A horizon and the underlying B horizon due to leaching (eluviation) of minerals and fine materials by rainwater and organic acids from litter. Forest floor – The top layer of organic matter overlying the mineral soil, consisting of intact and partially decomposed litter and duff. The forest floor is another name for the O (organic) horizon. Horizons – Layers which develop in the soil under the influence of climate, living organisms, and other soil forming factors. Major horizons from top to bottom include the O (organic), A, E, B, and C horizons. Humus – Organic matter that has been decomposed to the point where it becomes stable, i.e., further decomposition will likely not occur. Humus can be present in all soil layers, although it is primarily found in the duff layer (O horizon), and to a lesser degree, the A horizon. Litter – Undecomposed or partially decomposed organic material that can be readily identified (e.g., plant leaves, twigs, etc.). Mineral soil – Soil consisting predominantly of products derived from the weathering of rocks (e.g., sands, silts, and clays). As soil develops under the influence of climate, living organisms and other soil forming factors, it typically develops layers or horizons. Typical mineral soil horizons include the A, E and B horizons. O (organic) horizon – This is the collective name for the litter and duff layer and is also sometimes referred to as the „forest floor‟. 3. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a data recorder and a data collector can complete the tasks described below efficiently. Enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheet H (see Appendix 12A). Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For example the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3 Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the soil sampling using capital letters. Sampling The goal of the soil collection is to gain an understanding of the soil characteristics present at each monitoring site. An average duff thickness is calculated for the plot and an A horizon soil sample is collected from several points around the plot. A soil sampling auger is used to remove soil horizon cores. In order not to disturb the vegetation and soil properties and processes within the plot, soil samples will be collected from a band 2 m wide and extending from 2 m to 4 m outside of the plot along each of the four sides (Figure 12.1). Two samples will be collected from each side of the plot, with more samples taken if this initial soil volume collected is not sufficient. In order to have sufficient soil for analysis, collect a total volume of approximately 1 cup or 240 cm3. The two sampling locations along each plot side can be located anywhere within the 2 m wide strip as long as the two points are at least 3 m apart. Collecting samples at a minimum of two locations off of each plot side will average out any local variation in chemistry that may exist. 2m Soil Sampling Area 2m C1 Side A C2 REBAR Quad 1 Quad 2 2m FLAG Side D SIde B 2m Quad 3 Quad 4 C3 Side C C4 2m 2m Figure 12.1. Soil sampling area around each plot. Soil Bag Labeled: Once the corresponding site number, date, and collector‟s initials have been written on the brown paper soil bag, place a check mark in the box. Collector Initials: Record the initials of the person(s) collecting the soil samples. At the first sampling location, remove the loose leaf litter. Be sure to leave the duff layer intact. With the soil sampler, core down at least 15 cm into the soil. Back out the soil sampler and look at the core taken. The duff layer is purely organic and should not contain any mineral soil. Individual organic particles are usually bound by fungal hyphae. The bottom of the duff layer is bordered by mineral soil. Duff (cm): Measure the thickness of the duff of each sample in tenths of centimeters and record in the blanks provided within this table. Figure 12.2. An idealized soil profile. Taken from the How When and Why of Forest Farming website (http://hwwff.cce.cornell.edu/). Next, observe to see if the A horizon is distinguishable from the lower E and/or B horizons (Figure 12.2). The A horizon is typically darker in color due to the included organic material. The E horizon is the zone of leaching of clay, iron, and other soil compounds located below the A horizon. It is also generally lighter in color due to the leaching of minerals. The B horizon is located below the A and E (if present) horizons. It is the zone were leached minerals from above accumulate. A difference in texture between the horizons may be noticeable and further aid in distinguishing among the layers. If the horizons are not distinguishable, collect the upper most 10 cm of soil. Be sure to discard the duff before collecting the A horizon. Place the soil in a brown paper bag labeled with the date, site number, and collector‟s initials. Continue collecting at points along each side of the transect and record the duff depths on the data sheet. All A horizon soil samples are placed together in the same brown bag. Place the brown bag soil sample in a sealable plastic bag for transport back to the office. Circle: Note whether the samples are mainly from an identified A horizon or the top 10 cm of the soil profile and circle the sample type. Finally, check the datasheet for errors or omissions and initial in the top left corner („Field check‟). 4. Soil Processing Upon returning to the office from the field, bring the soil sample to the gas house for drying and storage until it is sent to the lab for analysis. Remove the soil sample brown paper bag from the sealed plastic bag. Keep the sample in the paper bag and place it in the drying oven or on the counter. Make sure the sample is thoroughly dry. Once dry, store the sample in the gas house freezer until it is sent off to the lab. Photo Documentation (SOP) # 13 Version 1.1 (05/8/2007) This SOP gives step-by-step instructions for photo documentation at each plot. This SOP describes the procedure for taking photos, filling in the photo log, filling in Data Sheet C “Plot Diagram” located in Appendix 13A, and downloading the photographs. 1. Equipment List 6.1 megapixel digital Nikon D70s with 28 mm lens Photo log 2.4 m PVC pole Bright orange hat Clipboard Pencil Data Sheet C 2. Collecting and Recording Data A two-person team comprised of a photographer and person holding the 2.4 m pole at plot center are needed to complete the tasks described below. Enter the following standard information on the top of Data Sheet C (see Appendix 7A). Site ID #: This is the unique five character name assigned to each site. It is the first five characters after “NPS” stamped into the rebar caps at a site. Examples are 1L213 and 3L121. Plot #: The plot to be sampled is always either plot 1, 2 or 3. This is the sixth character stamped into the rebar cap on each corner post. For examples the code 1L213-1-3 represents Site ID 1L213, Plot #1, Corner #3. Date (mm/dd/yyyy): Write in the month (2 digits), day (2 digits), and year (4 digits) in the form shown. Include the forward slashes. Examples are 05/07/2007 and 09/25/2007. Crew: Fill in the three initials of each person conducting the tree sampling using capital letters. Photo Documentation of Plot Use a digital camera with a 28 mm wide-angle lens to take photographs of the plot from two different angles. Images should be taken diagonally across the plot from Corner 1 toward Corner 4, and from Corner 2 toward Corner 3. The 2006 camera standard is a 6.1 megapixel digital Nikon D70s. In the Field: a. The focal point of each image is a bright orange hat located 1.5 m above the ground along a PVC pole placed vertically at the center of the plot. b. Set up the camera on the tripod 3.0 meters back (outside of the plot) from the corner post along the same line as the plot diagonal. Use the tripod to adjust the camera height to 1.10 meters. Adjust the camera angle so that the PVC pole (and person holding it) is in the center of the image, at least half way up from the bottom of the frame (Figure 13.1). The orange hat should be held at 1.5 m up along the PVC pole. If you can‟t see the person, ask them to make some noise so that you can guess their location. Once this is done, you should be able to see small sections of the plot boundary tape measures in the lower corners of the frame (Figure 13.1). There should be similar amounts of tape measure exposed on each side of the frame. Figure 13.1. Example of a forest monitoring plot as seen through a 28 mm camera lens when taking documentation photos. The person and 2.4 m pole are standing at plot center, and the plot perimeter tape measures are visible at the lower edges of the frame. c. In order to ensure the same portion of the plot is documented from year to year, a copy of the previous visit‟s photo should be taken into the field and referenced while sighting the photograph. d. Vegetation outside the plot may be moved to give a clear line of sight to the corner post. However, vegetation inside the plot should be left undisturbed for the photograph even if it heavily / entirely obscures the view. e. Three exposures are taken of each desired image. A cable release or a camera with an automatic timer is essential, as the shutter speeds will be very slow. All exposures are taken at an f-stop of f-11. The first image should be taken at f-11 with whatever shutter speed is indicated to get a proper exposure. Take the second and third images with shutter speeds that are one and two stops slower than the optimal exposure, intentionally overexposing the images. When looking through the camera, press the trigger half way down and the photo settings will light up at the bottom of the view. Overexposing the picture will move the shutter speed to the left or positive side. This is done because the dappled light commonly encountered in the forest often causes incorrect light meter readings and subsequently underexposed images. In rare cases the site will have a very thin canopy. In such cases, bracket the photo exposures so that the second and third exposures are one step slower and one step faster than the optimal exposure. f. Record exposure information on the photo-log found in the camera case. After you take a picture, IMMEDIATELY record it in the Photo Log Notebook associated with each camera. Include the Date, Photographer, File Name, and a Description for each image taken (Figure 13.2). Figure 13.2. Photo Log Notebook. The date, file name, photographer, and photo description are logged for each entry. PHOTOGRAPHS taken?: Record that the photos were taken at the bottom of data sheet C by writing your initials in the boxes labeled “PHOTOGRAPHS taken?”. At the Office: Downloading Images The crew leader is responsible for ensuring that all digital images are downloaded onto the “O” drive at the end of every day. Individual file folders have been created to hold the downloaded images from each digital camera. Place your images in the appropriate camera folder then, if applicable, transfer your images into individual project subfolders. Image Naming After being downloaded and stored on the “O” drive, each image still needs to be re-named and have details about the image entered into the “comments” field of the image properties. It is best if this data entry can take place at the time the images are transferred to the “O” drive. However, there may not always be time, and it is therefore essential that good descriptive information about each image be entered into the Photo Log Notebook for future data entry. LTEM site documentation photos are named using the following convention: Park code_TLTEM_site code_ Corner X to Corner Y (either C1C4 or C2C3) _YYYYMMDD_image number Example: SHEN_TLTEM_1L505_C1C4_20050824_001 Data Entry After an image is downloaded and given its permanent name, additional information about each photo, such as the exact location, photo subject, and photographer are entered into the “comments” field within the image “properties. The following images demonstrate how to reach the “comments” field for each photo. Step 1 – Right click on the image of interest, and navigate to “properties” on the pop-up list. Step 2 – Click on the “Summary” tab inside the image properties window. Step 3 - Fill in the requested information. Make sure to include information on the Date, Location, Subject, Photographer, and Purpose of the photo. If the image is a photo point make sure to give specific information on the Location and Direction of the image (i.e. LTEM 1L124 C1-C3). A title may not always be necessary if the file name is descriptive.
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