A measure of the extent and complexity of riprian vegetation upstream of chalkstream sites derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data for 15 discrete chalkstreams distributed along a white chalk geology extending from Dorset in the south west, through Wiltshire, to Hampshire in the north east. For each site there is an estimate of the minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation height of vegetation along the banks for a range of distances upstream from the sampling location. Information on the extent and complexity of riparian vegetation upstream of chalkstream sites were used to better understand the relationships between in-stream biological communities and catchment and riparian land use. Stream sites surveyed represented a sample of chalkstreams across a gradient of catchment land cover intensification from catchments dominated by extensive calcareous grassland and woodland to those dominated by arable and improved grasslands. LiDAR data were obtained from the Environment Agency in April 2014. This dataset was created as part of work package 3.1 of the Wessex Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) project.
Publication date: 2017-06-26
LiDAR data were split between trees (vegetation >2m from the ground) and low (<2m) vegetation (with buildings masked out). Three areas relative to each stream sampling point were defined; a 10m-wide riparian zone buffer strip on each bank either 100m, 200m or 1km upstream. For each defined area the minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation of vegetation heights were calculated from the LiDAR data, in addition to the total vegetation area and volume. These statistics were calculated for all vegetation, and separately for trees (>2m) and low vegetation (<2m). LiDAR metadata is available from https://data.gov.uk/dataset/lidar-composite-dsm-1m1. Visual checks were made within ArcGIS to confirm the validity of the buffer strips created upstream of each site, prior to applying them to the LiDAR data. Derived statistics were checked to confirm that the sum of 'Tree' and 'Low' values equalled the relevant 'All' value.
LiDAR data were acquired for 15 of the 20 stream sites sampled in July 2012 as part of WessexBESS work package 3.1. Data were not available for the remaining 5 sites.