The main focus of NIRMI is the collection of data on vascular plant species presence/absence
and abundance at a variety of nested spatial scales (1000 m2, 100 m2,
10 m2, 1 m2, 0.1 m2, and 0.01 m2), as shown in the diagram below.
The sampling model is adopted from models developed by Peet et al1 and
is consistent with the sampling methodology of
the Carolina Vegetation Survey and complies
with the National Vegetation Classification Standard.
This methodology allows for nested, intensive vegetation sampling yet
allows flexibility as modules (10 m x 10 m units within each plot) may be rearranged
based on geographic considerations.
Repeated measures at these same plots over time project the trajectory of a
given restoration -- in addition to monitoring multiple times each growing season,
NIRMI returns to each plot at yearly intervals and intends to do so over the span of several decades.
Data involving other key ecological indicators are also taken. The particular
indicators that we are currently focusing on include: soil nutrients, soil pH, soil
moisture, DBH (diameter at breast height), and canopy cover. These data are
correlated with GPS points of
permanent plot locations and are presented on this website for academic and
conservation minded individuals.2
A typical plot layout, with ten 10x10 meter modules. Sub-quadrats not shown to exact scale.
A) Intensively sampled module;
B) Nested sub-quadrats of smaller scale;
C) Residual quadrat.
1 Peet, RK, Wentworth, TR,
White PS. 1998. “A Flexible, Multipurpose Method for Recording Composition and Structure.”
2 Due to concerns about geotagging plants
with the potential of poaching, all data regarding state or federally listed species are
secured and filtered to prevent public dissemination of this sensitive information.