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Vascular plant community surveys across different reindeer grazing regimes in the Fennoscandian tundra

Cite this dataset

Gibson, Kate; Oloffson, Johan; Mooers, Arne; Monroe, Melanie (2022). Vascular plant community surveys across different reindeer grazing regimes in the Fennoscandian tundra [Dataset]. Dryad.


This dataset contains data from the experiment described in "Gibson K., Olofsson, J. Mooers, A. Ø., & Monroe, M. J. (2021) Pulse grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) can increase the phylogenetic diversity of vascular plant communities in the Fennoscandian tundra. Ecology and Evolution. In press." 

The data is from a multi-year (2004-2007) quasi-experimental study in Northern Fennoscandia, which was designed to analyze the effect of reindeer grazing on vascular plant community diversity. Our study design used a permanent fence constructed in the 1960s and temporary fences constructed along the permanent fence to expose plant communities to three different grazing regimes: light (almost never grazed), pulse (grazed every other year) and press (chronic grazing for over forty years). The study deisgn consisted of plots setup at five different sites at least 100m apart from each other along the permanent fence. Each site was divided into the three grazing regimes (light, pulse and press). For each site and grazing regime, one replicate plot was placed in a drier area and other in a wetter area. Each plot (n = 36) was evenly split into nine subplots. This dataset is composed of plant survey data at the sub-plot level with a variable for the presence/absence and relative abundance of each surveyed species. The biodiversity metrics used in the associated manuscript can be calculated from these variables. 

The main results of this experiment were that (1) the species richness and evenness of plant communities with pulse and press grazing did not differ from communities with light grazing, (2) there was a transition from shrub‐dominated communities with light grazing to graminoid‐dominated communities with pulse and press grazing and (3) communities with pulse, but not press, grazing were more phylogenetically dispersed than communities with light grazing.


Information on how the plant surveys were performed can be found in the associated manuscript referenced above. 

Usage notes

The README file contains an explanation of each of the variables in the dataset.