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Subtropical forest vegetation along elevation gradient in Taiwan: Lalashan transect

Source of data

Zelený, Li, Shen, Chen et al. (data collected within Vegetation Ecology Lab, NTU)

Description of the dataset

Dataset of 18 vegetation plots (20 m x 20 m) sampled along vertical elevation transect in the submontane and montane forest vegetation of Taiwan. In each plot, all woody species with DBH > 1 cm and taller than 2 m were recorded and their DBH measured. This information was used to calculate the importance value index (IVI, percentage scale) of each species in each plot (combining species relative basal area and relative density). Environmental variables related to topography, soil, light, decomposition rate and microclimate were measured and recorded. A set of leaf and wood traits have been sampled for most of the woody species recorded in the dataset (measurement was done on three leaves per individual, and for each species, we collected at least three individuals in localities along the transect).


Lalashan elevation transect, composed of six elevation zones (labelled as L1, L2, ... L6, ordered from high to low elevation; each zone 250 m wide). In each zone, three vegetation plots have been sampled (one on the leeward side of the mountain, one on the ridge and another on the windward side; the plot ID reflects this location by code L, R and W, respectively, attached after the code of elevation zone; e.g. L2W means that the plot was sampled in the L2 elevation zone - the second-highest, and on the windward site of the mountain).

Environmental variables

Name of variable Description
Plot_ID plot number
Elevation_zone zone at which plots were sampled (850, 1100, 1350, 1600, 1850, 2100 m asl)
Lat latitude (DD.DDDD)
Long longitude (DD.DDDD)
Elevation elevation (m asl)
Aspect aspect (°)
Aspect_folded aspect folded along NE-SW axis (°)
Heatload heatload calculated from aspect and slope using the formula by Keon & McCune (200?)
MAT mean annual temperature (°C) measured by loggers located in the plots
mean_coldest mean temperature of the coldest month (°C) measured by loggers located in the plots
mean_warmest mean temperature of the warmest month (°C) measured by loggers located in the plots
wet_events relative proportion of wet events (with relative humidity > 98%)
dry_events relative proportion of dry events (with relative humidity < 75%)
frosty_days number of frosty days (with temperature < 2°C)
Slope slope of the plot (°)
Soil_depth soil depth (measured by 30 cm long rod in 12 places of plot and averaged)
pH_H2O soil pH, measured in water solution
pH_KCl soil pH, measured in solution of KCl
Ca concentration of Ca in soil (mg/kg)
Cu concentration of Cu in soil (mg/kg)
Fe concentration of Fe in soil (mg/kg)
K concentration of K in soil (mg/kg)
Mg concentration of Mg in soil (mg/kg)
Mn concentration of Mnin soil (mg/kg)
P concentration of P in soil (mg/kg)
Zn concentration of Zn in soil (mg/kg)
CN_ratio ration of total carbon and total nitrogen in the soil
Total_N concentration of total nitrogen in the soil (%)
Total_C concentration of total carbon in the soil (%)
S stabilization index of decomposition (measured by teabag decomposition method)
k decomposition rate (measured by teabag decomposition method)
% Cnpy Open canopy openness (measured by fisheye photography)
% Site Open site openness (measured by fisheye photography)
Trans Dir amount of direct light passing through canopy
Trans Dif amount of diffuse light passing through canopy
Trans Tot total amount of light passing through canopy
% Trans Dir amount of direct light passing through canopy
% Trans Dif amount of diffuse light passing through canopy
% Trans Tot total amount of light passing through canopy
fog_freq ground fog frequency

Species traits

Name of variable Description
sp_abb species abbreviation
LA leaf area
LDMC leaf dry matter content
SLA specific leaf area
SSD specific stem density (also woody density)
SPAD chlorophyll content in leaf measured by SPAD
Lth leaf thickness
Succ succulence
VD vein density
Drop_up leaf water repellency (upper leaf surface)
Drop_below leaf water repellency (below leaf surface)
d15N N isotope concentration in the leafs
d13C C isotope concentration in the leafs
N_mass N concentration in the leaf
C_mass C concentration in the leaf
CN CN ratio in the leaf

Data for download

File name File type Description
lalashan.xlsx Excel file Contains species × sample matrix, environmental variables, explanation of species abbreviations and metadata
lalashan.RData r object file An R object, a list of three components, spe, env and traits
load (url (''))

The lalashan object which will be loaded into the working space is a list with three components:

  • spe Compositional matrix of all woody species and their calculated IVI (sample x species, importance value index, values converted into percentage scale 0-100%)
  • env Matrix of environmental variables (sample x env)
  • traits Matrix of species traits (species x traits); note that there are some missing values for some of the traits


en/data/lalashan.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/10 11:05 by David Zelený

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