Data from: Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

 

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Title shrub encroachment, grazing and facilitation
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Description This dataset aimed to quantify the interrelationships between grazing, the degree of shrub encroachment at the landscape scale and the effect of individual shrubs on the vegetation and soils beneath them regarding open areas. Data were obtained for 57 50 m x 50 m plots on two different areas (Buronga and Scotia) in semiarid New South Wales (Australia. Grazing was quantified by sampling within two contrasting land uses: 1) National Parks or protected areas, lightly grazed by native herbivores, with no livestock and exclusion of kangaroos and feral herbivores, and 2) Grazing properties, heavily grazed by livestock (mostly sheep and cattle) with no control of kangaroos or feral herbivores. Within these 4 combination of area x grazing (Buronga Grazed, Buronga Ungrazed, Scotia Grazed, Scotia Ungrazed) we sampled a gradient in shrub encroachment, with 14-15 plots ranging in shrub covers from 5 to over 50% (N= 57). Within each plot, we sampled a variable number of quadrats (depending on shrub cover) beneath the dominant shrubs and in the open. In these quadrats we measured three soil function indices (LFA indicators; Tongway 1995, namely infiltration (ability to capture water and retain run-off and nutrients), stability (resistance to soil erosion) and nutrient cycling. We also measured vascular plant richness (species density), cover and biomass. With this data, and by using the RII index (Armas et al. 2004, cited in the text), we quantified patch-level effects (i.e., the effect of individual shrubs in the soils and plants beneath them). From this data we also obtained similarity indices between those subcommunities living beneath a nurse and those living in the open. More details in the data can be obtained both in the metadata and data spreadsheets in the Excel file There is not empty data. Data was taken by David Eldridge, Santiago Soliveres and James Val. Contact for further information: Dr. Santiago Soliveres (e-mail: santiagosoliverescodina@gmail.com)
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When using this data, please cite the original publication:

Soliveres S, Eldridge DJ (2013) Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function? Functional Ecology 28(2): 530–537. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12196

Additionally, please cite the Dryad data package:

Soliveres S, Eldridge DJ (2013) Data from: Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function? Dryad Digital Repository. http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gg3c9
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