The dataset comprises of percentage plant cover by species observed by eye in a 1metre (m) x 1m quadrat. Measurements were recorded at six salt marsh sites at four spatial scales: 1 metre (m) (the minimal sampling unit) nested within a hierarchy of increasing scales of 1-10 m, 10-100 m and 100-1000 m. Three of the sites were in Morecambe Bay, North West England and three of the sites were in Essex, South East England. Plant cover was measured during the winter and summer of 2013 for all six sites.
This data was collected as part of Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS): NE/J015644/1. The project was funded with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme. BESS is a six-year programme (2011-2017) funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the UK's Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme.
Publication date: 2016-05-03
Plant species within each quadrat were identified and their percentage cover estimated. Results were recorded onto field sheets. These data were transferred into an Excel file. Results were exported as comma separated value files for ingestion into the EIDC. The location of the sample sites was determined by randomly allocated quadrats. Each site consisted of a rectangular area of saltmarsh between 400 x 500 m to 1000 x 1000 m in size, dependent upon saltmarsh length (parallel to shore) and width (perpendicular to shore), including part of the low, mid and high marsh zones. Twenty two 1 x 1 m quadrats were randomly allocated to each site rectangle using R (R Development Core Team, 2014) to specify four different spatial scales (A = 1 quadrat only, B = 3 quadrats at 1 m to 10 m apart, C = 6 quadrats at 10 m to 100 m apart, D = 12 quadrats at 100 m to 1000 m or site maximum).