Van Dijk, N.; Leith, I.D.; Sheppard, L.J.; Jones, M.; Levy, P.E.; Leeson, S.R.

Vegetation change at Whim peatbog (2002-2016)

The data consist of observations of cover of plant species in permanent quadrats in a nitrogen deposition experiment on a peat bog. The experiment was located at Whim Moss in central Scotland, between 2002 and 2016. Recording of cover was by visual assessment in 40 x 40 cm quadrats. The experiment was designed to look at the change in vegetation composition with different rates of deposition of nitrogen in different forms (ammonia, ammonium, and nitrate).

This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.

Publication date: 2018-11-14


Study area
Temporal extent
2002-01-01    to    2016-12-31

Provenance & quality

Data were collected by recording cover of all species occurring in permanent quadrats.
The location of the quadrats was marked with canes.
Cover recording was done by subjective visual assessment.
Values are expressed as percentages of the ground area of the quadrat covered by that species.
Data were recorded on paper in the field, and later transcribed to Excel spreadsheets.
The Excel spreadsheets were processed by an R script, which corrected naming errors, and averaged values for the 16 10x10 cm sub-squares to give the 40x40 cm quadrat mean.
There are some instance of unreliable data, where implausibly large changes occur from within a few years. This is likely to come from changes in quadrat position, or human error in identifying and recording the species.
The data were mainly collected by Lucy Sheppard and Ian Leith, and latterly by Netty van Dijk and co-workers.


Levy, P., Dijk, N., Gray, A., Sutton, M., Jones, M., Leeson, S., … Sheppard, L. (2018). Response of a peat bog vegetation community to long‐term experimental addition of nitrogen. Journal of Ecology, 107(3), 1167–1186.

Correspondence/contact details

Netty van Dijk
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB


Van Dijk, N.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Leith, I.D.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Sheppard, L.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Jones, M.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Levy, P.E.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Leeson, S.R.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Environment , Biota
Air Clean air Climate and climate change Ecosystem services Greenhouse Gas Pollution UK-SCAPE
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:19