Broadscale variability in tree data of the historical Public Land Survey and its consequences for ecological studies

dc.contributor.author Liu, Feng
dc.contributor.author Mladenoff, David
dc.contributor.author Schulte Moore, Lisa
dc.contributor.author Keuler, Nicholas
dc.contributor.author Schulte Moore, Lisa
dc.contributor.department Natural Resource Ecology and Management
dc.date 2018-02-13T11:09:54.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T06:11:31Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T06:11:31Z
dc.date.copyright Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011
dc.date.embargo 2013-05-23
dc.date.issued 2011-05-01
dc.description.abstract <p>Historical records provide valuable information on the prior conditions of ecological systems and species distribution, especially in the context of growing environmental change. However, historical records may have associated bias and error because their original purpose may not have been for scientific use. The Public Land Survey (PLS) of the U.S. General Land Office (GLO) conducted from the late 1700s to the early 1900s has been widely used to characterize historical vegetation in the United States prior to major Euro-American settlements. Studies have shown that variability and bias exist in the data. However, these studies have not typically encompassed a region large enough to adequately assess this variability across diverse landscapes, nor attempted to distinguish potential ecological significance from statistical differences. Here we do this by analyzing variability in PLS data across all of northern Wisconsin, USA, a 75 000-km<sup>2</sup> landscape. We found ecologically significant differences among survey point types for tree species, size, and the distance to survey points. Both corner and line trees show some level of bias for species and size, but corner trees are likely the best sample. Although statistical tests show significant differences in species composition, tree size, and distance by tree sequence and location, the differences in species composition and tree size are not ecologically significant. The species differences are probably caused by fine-scale variability in the forest communities. The value of the PLS data remains high; choice of spatial extent, methods of analyses, and bias significance need to be evaluated according to variables of interest and project purpose.<br /> Read More: <a href="http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/10-0232.1">http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/10-0232.1</a></p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is from <em>Ecological Monographs</em> 81, no. 2 (May 2011): 259–275, doi:<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/10-0232.1" target="_blank">10.1890/10-0232.1</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/10/
dc.identifier.articleid 1008
dc.identifier.contextkey 4168831
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath nrem_pubs/10
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/56117
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/nrem_pubs/10/2011_LiuF_BroadscaleVariabilityTree.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 18:03:59 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.1890/10-0232.1
dc.subject.disciplines Forest Management
dc.subject.disciplines Natural Resources Management and Policy
dc.subject.disciplines Statistics and Probability
dc.subject.keywords bias
dc.subject.keywords data quality
dc.subject.keywords ecological significance
dc.subject.keywords historical ecology
dc.subject.keywords northern Wisconsin (USA)
dc.subject.keywords presettlement vegetation
dc.subject.keywords Public Land Survey
dc.subject.keywords U.S. General Land Office (GLO)
dc.subject.keywords variability
dc.title Broadscale variability in tree data of the historical Public Land Survey and its consequences for ecological studies
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 54a6b538-1698-4d40-9c1a-cca3b5108bef
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication e87b7b9d-30ea-4978-9fb9-def61b4010ae
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