Physical Attributes of the Hubbard Brook Valley Plots, 1995 - 1998 Survey Data
Physical Attributes of the Hubbard Brook Valley Plots, 1995 - 1998 Survey Data
John J. Battles
University of California, Berkeley
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
137 Mulford Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-3114
Tim Fahey
Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University
104A Bruckner Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Thomas G. Siccama
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Paul Schwarz
Suzanne Wapner
The valley-wide plots are a grid of 431 sites along fifteen N–S transects established at 500-m intervals spanning the entire Hubbard Brook Valley. Multiple above- and below- ground attributes were measured between 1995 and 1998. This dataset includes physical attribute data; tree inventory, soil data and other measurements are presented in separate datasets.
KEYWORD SET: Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study LTER
aspect, forests, HBEF Valleywide Plots, HBR, Hubbard Brook LTER, plots, schwarz, slope, watersheds.
KEYWORD SET: LTER Core Research Areas
primary production.
The valley-wide plots are a grid of 431 sites along fifteen N–S transects established at 500-m intervals spanning the entire Hubbard Brook Valley.
West bounding coordinate: -71.80620
East bounding coordinate: -71.70220
North bounding coordinate: 43.9590
South bounding coordinate: 43.9140
This dataset contains the physical attributes of the 431 valley-wide plots that Paul Schwarz and others established between 1995-1998. Data collected on these plots led to the following two publications and a doctoral dissertation ( see REFERENCES). This dataset includes the following for each plot: UTM coordinates, several parameters of slope and aspect, elevation, a terrain shape index, and a brief description. Soils data (soil chemistry, depth, exchangeable cations, and texture) and tree data (species, condition, and for some tree ring increment measures and tree height) were also measured and are presente in separate datasets.
The following methods related to plot establishment are excerpted from Schwarz et al., 2003: "Fifteen N–S transects were established at 500-m intervals to span the entire Hubbard Brook Valley (Fig.1). Along the transects, a regular array of 431 500-m2 circular plots was established at distance intervals of either 25 m, 100 m, or 200 m. The sampling layout and spacing of the plots was designed to facilitate the analysis of spatial patterns in the forest vegetation by utilizing a wide range of distance intervals between plots (Fortin et al., 1989). "
UTM coordinates of all plots are included in this dataset. Slope was taken at plot center using a clinometer. Elevation was taken at plot center using a calibrated altimeter. Slope aspects were taken at plot center using a compass. Plot average steepness and terrain shape index were calculated using methods described in McNab, 1989. The sampling data is unknown. The data were collected between 1995-1998. A map of the plot locations can be found here:
  • Fortin, M.-J., Drapeau, P., and Legendre, P. 1989. Spatial autocorrelation and sampling design in plant ecology. Vegetation 83:209–222.
  • McNab, W.H. 1989. Terrain shape index: quantifying effect of minor landforms on tree height. Forest Science 35:91– 104.
  • Schwarz, P.A., Fahey, T.J., and McCulloch, C.E. 2003. Factors controlling spatial variation of tree species abundance in a forested landscape. Ecology 84(7):1862-1878.
Data Use Policy

The re-use of scientific data has the potential to greatly increase communication, collaboration and synthesis within and among disciplines, and thus is fostered, supported and encouraged. Permission to use this dataset is granted to the Data User free of charge subject to the following terms:

1) Acceptable use. Use of the dataset will be restricted to academic, research, government or other not-for-profit professional purposes.

2) Redistribution. The data and metadata are provided for use by the Data User. The Data User will not redistribute the original Data Set or metadata to others without the explicit permission of the Principal Investigator.

3) Citation. It is considered a matter of professional ethics to acknowledge the work of other scientists. Thus, the Data User will properly attribute the Data Set in any publications or in the metadata of any derived data products that were produced using the Data Set. Citation should take the following general form: Creator, Year of Data Publication, Title of Dataset, Publisher, Dataset identifier.

Citation example: Holmes, R.T. 2012. Bird Abundances at Hubbard Brook (1969-2010) and on three replicate plots (1986-2000) in the White Mountain National Forest. Durham, NH. Hubbard Brook Data Archive [Database]. (23 July 2012)

4) Acknowledgment: The Data User should acknowledge any institutional support or specific funding awards referenced in the metadata accompanying this dataset in any publications where the Data Set contributed to its content. Acknowledgments should identify the supporting party, the party that received the support, and any identifying information such as grant numbers.

Acknowledgment example: Data on [topic] were provided by [name of PI] on [date]. These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA. Significant funding for collection of these data was provided by [agency]-[grant number], [agency]-[grant number], etc.

5) Consultation and questions. Data users are strongly encouraged to consult with the Principal Investigator(s) who collected these data for further information. Also, when appropriate, Data Users should consider including the Principal Investigator as a collaborator and/or co-author in the use of these data.

6) Notification. The Data User will notify the Principal Investigator of any publication or derivative work based on the Data Set. The Data User will also provide the Principal Investigator and/or the administrator of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study with a pdf or two reprints of any publication(s) resulting from use of the Data Set.

7) Disclaimer. While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation contained in this Data Set, complete accuracy of data and metadata cannot be guaranteed. All data and metadata are made available "as is". The Data User holds all parties involved in the production or distribution of the Data Set harmless for damages resulting from its use or interpretation.

8) Terms of Agreement. By accepting this Data Set, the Data User agrees to abide by the terms of this agreement. The Data Owner shall have the right to terminate this agreement immediately by written notice upon the Data User's breach of, or non-compliance with, any of its terms. The Data User may be held responsible for any misuse that is caused or encouraged by the Data User's failure to abide by the terms of this agreement.


Information Manager, Hubbard Brook LTER
234 Mirror Lake Road
North Woodstock, NH 03262

Phone: (603) 726-8902

Data file: valley_plots
Description: Physical Attributes of the Hubbard Brook Valley Plots
ColumnVariableDescriptionUnitsCoded?Missing value label
1PLOTPlot numbernoneynone
2TRANSECTTransect ID number where the plot is locatednoneynone
3UTM_EASTINGUTM Easting of plot locationmeternnone
4UTM_NORTHINGUTM Northing of plot locationmeternnone
5SAMPLE_DATEDate sample was collectedYYYY-MM-DDn
6DATE_NOTENotes about the Datenoneynone
7PLOT RADIUSRadius of the plotmeternnone
8PLOT_AREAArea of the plothectarennone
9ELEVATIONElevation of the plotmeternnone
10ASPECTAspect of the plotdegreen
11NSPlot slope face either northerly or southerlynoney
12NESWPlot slope face in one of the four cardinal directionsnoney
13EASTNESSSlope aspect of plot ranging from -1 to +1 where maximum eastness occurred on sites with a measured aspect of 90 degreesnoney
14SOUTHNESSSlope aspect of plot ranging from -1 to +1 where maximum southness occurred on sites with a measured aspect of 180 degreesnoney
15SLOPE_NSlope from plot center facing northdegreennone
16SLOPE_N_%Slope from plot center facing northpercentnnone
17SLOPE_ESlope from plot center facing eastdegreennone
18SLOPE_E_%Slope from plot center facing eastpercentnnone
19SLOPE_SSlope from plot center facing southdegreennone
20SLOPE_S_%Slope from plot center facing southpercentnnone
21SLOPE_WSlope from plot center facing westdegreennone
22SLOPE_W_%Slope from plot center facing westpercentnnone
23DOWN_SLOPESlope from plot center facing downhilldegreennone
24UP_SLOPESlope from plot center facing uphilldegreennone
25AVG_STEEPPlot average steepnessdegreennone
26AVG_STEEP_%Plot average steepnesspercentnnone
27TERRAINTerrain shape indexpercentnnone


Variable: PLOT
Plot number
Variable: TRANSECT
Transect ID number where the plot is located
Variable: DATE_NOTE
Notes about the Date
Variable: NS
Plot slope face either northerly or southerly
Variable: NESW
Plot slope face in one of the four cardinal directions
Variable: EASTNESS
Slope aspect of plot ranging from -1 to +1 where maximum eastness occurred on sites with a measured aspect of 90 degrees
Slope aspect of plot ranging from -1 to +1 where maximum southness occurred on sites with a measured aspect of 180 degrees
Variable: COMMENTS

Missing Value Code
Code Explanation
Unkown date
Missing value
Unknown value
Unknown value
Unkown value
Unkown value