Plant % cover by species for the ITEX CO2 flux survey plots at Toolik, Alaska; Abisko, Sweden; Svalbard, Norway; Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland; and Barrow, Alaska 2004-2009


Estimated aerial plant % cover by species in flux plots measured during the ITEX circumarctic flux survey 2004-2006. Flux plots were located in the Toolik Lake LTER fertilization experiment in Alaska; at Imnavait Creek, Alaska; at Paddus, Latnjajaure and the Stepps site near Abisko in northern Sweden; at various sites in Adventdalen, Svalbard; in the Zackenberg valley, Northeast Greenland; at BEO near Barrow, Alaska and at the Anaktuvuk River Burn in Alaska.

Project Keywords: 

Data set ID: 


EML revision ID: 

Published on EDI/LTER Data Portal


Shaver, G. 2010. Plant % cover by species for the ITEX CO2 flux survey plots at Toolik, Alaska; Abisko, Sweden; Svalbard, Norway; Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland; and Barrow, Alaska 2004-2009 Environmental Data Initiative.

Date Range: 

Monday, June 28, 2004 to Monday, August 17, 2009

Publication Date: 



Imnavait Creek, Alaska 2004: cover estimates were made once on the 15 flux plots along the topographic sequence of the west facing slope of Imnavait Creek catchment.

Toolik Lake, Alaska 2004: cover estimates were made once on the 20 flux plots in treatment (N +P) and control blocks of the LTER terrestrial fertilization experiment at Toolik Lake, including the moist acidic tussock, non-acidic tussock, non acidic non-tussock, inlet wet sedge and heath sites.

Abisko, Sweden 2004. Cover estimates were made once on the 11 plots at the Stepps site, 13 plots at Paddus and 12 plots at Latnjajaure.

Abisko, Sweden 2005. Cover estimates were made on 15 flux plots at the Stepps site each time flux measurements were made (3 times through June/early July and once in mid August).

Svalbard 2005. Cover estimates were made once on 41 flux plots at various sites in Adventdalen.

Zackenberg 2006. Data were collected on 35 1 x 1m plots and 25 0.3 x 0.3m plots across a range of vegetation types. 13 of the 0.3 x 0.3m plots were located within 1m x 1m plots (identified by plot name with suffix "b1, b2 or b3"), the remainder were independent of the 1 x 1m plots (B14-25). Measurements were made from 8 July through 1 Aug 2006.

Toolik, Alaska 2009: Data were collected on nine 1m x 1m flux plots, three in each vegetation type. Vegetation types included moist acidic tundra (MAT), dry heath (HTH) and wet sedge (WSG). Each plot was measured at approximately 2 weeks intervals from mid-June to mid-August 2009.

Anaktuvuk River Burn, Alaska 2009: Data was collected on five 0.7m x 0.7m flux plots along a burn severity gradient during mid-June 2009.

Barrow, Alaska 2009: Data was collected on thirteen 0.7m 0.7m flux plots along a moisture gradient during late-July to early-August 2009.

Absolute percent cover by species was estimated for each 1m x 1m ITEX flux plot (i.e. total cover can be > 100%). In 2004, we split the 1m x 1m flux plots into 25 sub plots using a grid, then estimated % cover in each of the sub plots individually and calculated an average. In 2005, 2006 and 2009 we used the same 1m x 1m grid but counted running totals of percentages of each species in squares 1 thru 25 (only the total cover for the flux plot is given). For the 0.3m x 0.3m plots in 2006 we estimated cover once for the plot as a whole. For the 0.7m x 0.7m plots in 2009 we used a smaller version of the same grid and counted the running totals of the percentages of each species' cover for the whole plot.

Each spp is assigned to a growth form, abbreviated as follows:

D = deciduous shrub
E = evergreen shrub
F = forb
G = grass
GRM = graminoid
S = sedge/rush
P = pteridophyte
B = bryophyte (mosses and liverworts)
L = lichen
U = unclassified
W = water
R = rock
X = litter or bare or crust

++ = plus other spp

Where many graminoids were growing together it was often difficult to judge the individual percentages, so only the total for the growth form is given; the main species present are listed in the comments column.


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Gus Shaver, The Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, MA, 02543, USA

Bay, C. (1998) Vegetation mapping of Zackenberg Valley Northeast Greenland. Danish Polar Center.

Shaver, G.R., Street, L.E., Rastetter, E.B., van Wijk, M.T., Williams, M. (2007) Functional convergence in regulation of net CO2 flux in heterogeneous tundra landscapes in Alaska and Sweden. Journal of Ecology 95:802-817.

Street, L.E., Shaver, G.R., Williams, M., van Wijk, M.T. (2007) What is the relationship between changes in canopy leaf area and changes in photosynthetic CO2 flux in arctic ecosystems? Journal of Ecology 95: 139-150.

Williams, M., Street, L.E., van Wijk, M.T., and Shaver, G.R. (2006) Identifying Differences in Carbon Exchange among Arctic Ecosystem Types. Ecosystems 9:288-304.

See Methods.

Version Changes: 

Version 1: Checked file and created eml and html files. Feb 2006 Jiml

Version 2: Added Zackenberg 2006 cover data and updated metadat.txt with new site description, references, files to reference etc. Added a new identifier column called "plot size" because 2006 data include measurements made on 0.3m x 0.3m plots. Changed date in file name from 2005 to 2006. Oct 2006 LStreet

Version 3: Added LTERNET Data Access server proxy for Excel and comma delimited data files.
Version 4: Updated LTERNET Data Access server proxy link for Excel and comma delimited data files. Changed from knb to das in url.
Version 5: Added Toolik and Barrow 2009 data. Changed file name from 2006 to 2009.
Version 6: Updated the metadata form and eml is 2.10 JimL Nov12
Version 7: Updated to newer metadata with site sheet. CH March 2013.
Version 4: Corrected eml excel file name wrong extension. JimL 16May13
Version 9: Corrected Distrubution URL. It had xlsfiles in the path. Jim L 19Jun14
Version 10: Changed Distrubution URL since the LTER network DAS system is being discontinued. JimL 9Apr2015

Sites sampled.

Download a comma delimited (csv) or Excel file (includes metadata and data sheets).

Use of the data requires acceptance of the data use policy --> Arctic LTER Data Use Policy

To cite this data set see the citation example on the LTER Network Data Portal page for this data set.