Physical environment of the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot (LFDP), Puerto Rico



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This file contains data that describe the physical and environmental attributes of the LFDP. The attributes include elevation, topography type, and percentage slope. All data are given for the 20 m by 20 m quadrat scale. Information on soils are taken form an interpolation of the soil map produced by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture (Soil Survey 1995). Other information from the elevation of each of the corner posts defining the quadrats.The National Science Foundation requires that data from projects it funds are posted on the web two years after any data set has been organized and “cleaned”. The data from each census of the LFDP will be updated at intervals as each survey of the LFDP shows errors in the previous data collection. After posting on the web, researchers who are not part of the project are then welcome to use the data. Given the enormous amount of time, effort and resources required to manage the LFDP, obtain these data, and ensure data accuracy, LFDP Principal Investigators request that researchers intending to use this data comply with the requests below. Through complying with these requests we can ensure that the data are interpreted correctly, analyses are not repeated unnecessarily, beneficial collaboration between users is promoted and the Principle Investigators investment in this project is protected.

Date Range: 
1990-02-01 00:00:00 to 1991-01-01 00:00:00


Plot number, quadrat, column and row, describe the position of each 20 x 20 m quadrat within the grid structure of the 16 ha plot. The quadrat naming convention is described in the variable list and is the same as in Condit (1998). Xm and Ym are the distance east (X) and north (Y) respectively measured in meters from the southwest corner of the 16 ha plot to the southwest corner of each quadrat. Exposure class is based upon aspect, and was classified by the exposure of each quadrat to primarily NE winds. NE = 4, E and N = 3, NW and SE = 2, W and S = 1, SW = 0 Topographic class - topographic exposure class 1 - valley, 2 - bench (a slope of < 15%), 3 - slope (>= 15%), 4 - ridge. These were derived from the digital elevation model and were not ground truthed. Canopy cover class was classified into 4 types based upon the percentage canopy cover seen in aerial photographs of the plot area taken in 1936. Marchterre Fluet did the analysis of the aerial photographs, taken in 1936, at Harvard University



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