Moss point transect data for the Kuparuk River near Toolik Field Station, Alaska 1993-current.


This file contains the consolidated data for percent cover of dominant bryophytes and other easily identifiable macro-algae in the experimental reaches of the Kuparuk River beginning in 1993 and updated annually. In some years percent cover was recorded more than one time per season. In all years percent cover was recorded in riffle habitats and in some (early) years percent cover was recorded for pool habitats. Moss point transects have been done on the Kuparuk since 1993.

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EML revision ID: 

Published on EDI/LTER Data Portal


Bowden, W. 2020. Moss point transect data for the Kuparuk River near Toolik Field Station, Alaska 1993-current. Environmental Data Initiative.



Additional People: 

Associated Researcher
Associated Researcher
Associated Researcher
Associated Researcher
Associated Researcher
Associated Researcher

Date Range: 

Wednesday, June 23, 1993 to Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Publication Date: 



Study Site
General description (modified from Benstead et al. 2007): Fertilization of the Kuparuk River with P (added as H3PO4 via continuous dripper from mid-June to mid-August, fixed-rate with a target concentration of 0.3 μM at a nominal discharge of 2 m3/sec) started in the summer of 1983. The H3PO4 was added at an arbitrary point called 0.0 km, located 1.6 km upstream of the river crossing at the Dalton Highway (see Peterson et al., 1985 for early results of fertilization). In subsequent years, all points on the Kuparuk River were referenced relative to this datum. In 1985 the P dripper was moved 0.59 km downstream, forming the first Kuparuk recovery reach (enriched for the two previous summers, 1983-1984) between 0.0 km and 0.59 km. In 1996 the dripper was moved downstream a second time, to 1.4 km below the original dripper site. The reach between 0.59 km and 1.4 km became the second Kuparuk recovery reach (enriched for 13 consecutive summers, 1983-1995). See Slavik et al. (2004) for an summary of other relevant data the Kuparuk River long-term fertilization experiment.
The specific reaches represented in this data set come from the following general areas unless noted otherwise:
Fertilized from 0.59km to 18km
Reference from 0.5km to -9.5km
Fertilized from 1.6km to 6km
Recovery from 1km to 1.39km
Reference from -0.47 to 0.7km
Fertilized from 1.6km to 6km
Re-Fert 2 from 0.7km to 1.39km
Re-Fert 1 from 0km to 0.6km
Reference from -0.47 to -0.1km

Sampling Methods
Data were acquired using point transects (Bowden et al. 1994, Bowden et al. 2006). Typically five transects were established across the river at ever sampling station. The transect locations were not permanently monumented and so for sites that were revisited several times a year or over many years, the exact location of the transects vary somewhat. While useful information is contained in the individual transects, statistical comparisons should typically be based on the mean cover values for all transects done at a site as the fundamental reporting unit. At intervals of about 10 cm along each transect, we noted the nature of the plant cover on the cobbles. Three moss species (Schistidium [Grimmia] agassizii Sull. & Lesq. in Sull., a mixture of H. alpestre [Hedw.] Loeske and H. ochraceum [Turn.] Loeske, and Fontinalis neomexicana Sull. and Lesq.), one liverwort (Solenostoma sp.), and the macroalgae previously mentioned, could be identified easily by eye in the field and were recorded as being present or absent. In subsequent years, other easily recognizable cover categories were recorded (e.g. Lemanea spp., Phormidium spp.). Only one species was assigned to a point. For a typical river width of 15 m, each transect provided roughly 150 points or 750 points at each station. Species frequency was determined from the number of times each species was encountered, divided by the total number of points sampled in a transect. Only one species (or "bare") was recorded as present at any one point. “Bare” recordings in the field notes were assumed to consist of an epilithic biofilm of diatoms and other microalgae as reported by Miller et al. (1992) and are recorded in the database here as "Epilithic algae".
In different years slightly different river sites were sometimes measured. Any measured site is a representative sample of the reach from which it came. The dataset contains the "actual" station location information. However, to consolidate the data and facilitate comparisons among reaches and across years, the data from closely co-located actual stations has been aggregated

Arctic LTER Streams Protocol,

Version Changes: 

Individual annual files were consolidated into this file in November 2007. At this time a data check was done to ensure that the transfer was accurate. Future additions to the the same data file should reference this metadata file, with updates as needed.
3/2013: EBS organized metadata and data into this file.
4/2013: JPB moved to new spreadsheet and updated Research Locations.
Version 2: Checked keywords against the LTER network preferred list and replaced non-preferred terms. Jim L 15Jan14; 1/2014: 2011 and 2012 Data added JPB
Version 3: Changed Distribution URL since the LTER network DAS system is being discontinued. JimL 9Apr2015
1/2014: 2011 and 2012 Data added by JPB
5/2015: 2013 and 2014 Data added by JPB.
2/2016: 2015 Data added by JPB.
Version 8: 5/2016: Made some corrections to values; 12/2017: 2016 data added by FMI. 7/2019: FMI updated through 2018. 3/2020: FMI edited incorrect data in August 2010 transects.

Sites sampled.

Full Metadata and data files (either comma delimited (csv) or Excel) - Environmental Data Initiative repository.

Use of the data requires acceptance of the data use policy --> Arctic LTER Data Use Policy