Dataset of long-term permanent plots in Quercus-dominated forest ecosystems of west-central Mexico
The present dataset derived from 86 circular permanent plots (500 m2 each) established in Quercus-dominated forests in west-central Mexico. The study area is part of Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve located in the Neotropic-Nearctic realms and encompasses parts of the Sierra Madre del Sur in Tropical America. The plots are randomly distributed across 10 km and over an altitudinal range from 2020 to 2350 m asl; within the plots, all woody tree species were identified to species level, the diameter at breast height (1.30 m) measured, and tagged. All woody species recorded in the plots were classified into three ontogenetic categories: adult trees, saplings and seedlings. Data comprises 3, 895 records of adult trees, 660 of saplings and 3,435 of seedlings. In each plot, 28 environmental variables were recorded and systematized into four different subsets: 1) physiographic; 2) biological; 3) disturbance and 4) edaphic. Besides, four hemispherical photographs were taken in each permanent plot to characterize the upper canopy. To guarantee the consistency and quality of the collected data we used the same standard protocol (Olvera- Vargas et al., 1996). All plots were geo-referenced with a hand-held Global Positioning System receiver (GPS 12XL, Garmin International, Inc., Olathe, Kansas, USA).
Steps to reproduce
Data was acquired following a classical forest inventory through the establishment of circular permanent plots (n = 86; 500 m2 each), randomly distributed across 10 km on stands dominated by Quercus forests. All tree species were measured within the plots and classified into adult trees, saplings and seedlings. The environmental surrounding and the physical-chemicals soil characteristics of each plot were assessed following a classical forest inventory and using standard protocol. In every plot, four hemispherical photos were taken to characterize the forest canopy. We carried out voucher collections for tree species whenever there was any uncertainty of the species identity.