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Forest plots along elevation gradient in Taiwan (MQU dataset)

Source of data

Ching-Feng Li & David Zelený

Description of the dataset

In autumn 2014, we sampled woody species (DBH > 1 cm) in nine forest plots in the northern part of Taiwan, and also collected leaves from selected tree individuals and measured a set of basic leaf traits. The main purpose was to get familiar with the trait-based approach in the study of forest vegetation since we haven't had the experience with it before. The localities were selected to cover a wide elevation gradient of three vegetation zones. Apart to measured elevation, we also collected soil samples and measured soil pH. The working name of the dataset is MQU, composed of abbreviation of the three vegetation zones it covers: M = Machilus-Castanopsis zone, Q = Quercus zone (lower cloud forest), U = Chamaecyparis zone (upper cloud forest).


We have chosen nine localities with natural forest in the Northern part of Taiwan, at elevation between 800 and 2100 m asl.

Environmental variables

Name of variable Description
Elevation Elevation (m asl)
pH Soil pH (measured in water solution)

Leaf traits

Name of variable Description
SLA Specific leaf area
LDMC Leaf dry matter content
LT Leath thickness
LA Leaf area
SSD Specific stem density (wood density)

Description of localities

Name of variable Description
Locality code M01-U03 (M for Machilus-Castanopsis zone, Q for Quercus zone, and U for upper cloud zone)
Locality name Geographical name of the locality
Date of vegetation sampling Date
Latitude Latitude (format DD.DDDDDD)
Longitude Longitude (format DD.DDDDDD)

Data for download

File name File type Description
MQU_woody_species_traits.xlsx Excel file Contains species × sample matrix (sheet spe), environmental variables (env), measured leaf traits (traits), description of localities (loc) and explanation
MQU_spe.txt Tab-delimited txt format Species composition data (89 species in columns, 9 samples in rows, importance value index for individual woody species (calculated from basal area and tree density in the plot). Only species for which traits were measured are included.
MQU_env.txt Tab-delimited txt format Environmental variables (two variables in columns, 9 samples in rows)
MQU_traits.txt Tab-delimited txt format Leaf traits of woody species (89 species in rows, 5 traits in columns; for each species at least tree leaves from one individual were collected and measured according to Peres-Harguindeguy et al. (2013)
MQU_loc.txt Tab-delimited txt format Description of localities

Script for direct import of data to R

mqu_spe <- read.delim ('', row.names = 1)
mqu_env <- read.delim ('', row.names = 1)
mqu_traits <- read.delim ('', row.names = 1)
mqu_loc <- read.delim ('')

Figure 1: Woody (Ching-Feng Li) collecting our first wood core within this project (September 17, 2014, photo: D. Zelený) Figure 1: Woody collecting specimens in Tamanshan plot (U01; October 14, 2014; photo: D. Zelený) Figure 1: David Zelený measuring traits of Fatsia polycarpa (this leaf was really a big one; October 17, 2014; photo: Ching-Feng Li)

en/data/mqu.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/03 21:07 by David Zelený