SGS-LTER Earthwatch - Organic Matter in Abandoned Fields in eastern Colorado, USA 1994-1995

Metadata Updated: November 19, 2019

This data package was produced by researchers working on the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research (SGS-LTER) Project, administered at Colorado State University. Long-term datasets and background information (proposals, reports, photographs, etc.) on the SGS-LTER project are contained in a comprehensive project collection within the Digital Collections of Colorado ( The data table and associated metadata document, which is generated in Ecological Metadata Language, may be available through other repositories serving the ecological research community and represent components of the larger SGS-LTER project collection. Our research on abandoned fields at the CPER has two aspects,vegetation recovery and soil recovery. We wish to monitor these fields for the tem of the LTER project (decades or centuries), and to address some specific research questions. Our questions are: 1. Does vegetation on shortgrass steppe recover 55 years following cultivation? Specifically, does Bouteloua gracilis, the dominant shortgrass steppe species, recover? Prior results indicated that B. gracilis reovers on some fields, and does not on others. The fields that do not are dominated by buffalo grass. In this new work at the CPER, we ask an additional question: 2. What determines whether B. gracilis recovers? 3. Does soil organic matter recover following abandonment? Specifically, do indices of soil fertility such as nitrogen availability recover? 4. Does small-scale patterning associated with individual plants recover following disturbance? 5. Does the rate of soil recovery depend upon the rate of vegetation recovery? Past results on the Pawnee National Grasslands indicated that only small amounts of organic matter had accumulated following abandonment but that nitrogen availability had recovered to its original levels under B. gracilis plants on the abandoned fields. Specifically, we are interested in whether it makes a difference to soils if blue grama recovers or not. Additional information and referenced materials can be found:

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: Creative Commons CCZero

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date March 29, 2018
Metadata Updated Date November 19, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from USDA JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date March 29, 2018
Metadata Updated Date November 19, 2019
Publisher USDA NAL
Unique Identifier knb-lter-sgs.102.17
Burke, Ingrid
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 005:18
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 2a18ad63-5b0b-4f6a-b142-3ffdfaa5d83b
Harvest Source Id 50ca39af-9ddb-466d-8cf3-84d67a204346
Harvest Source Title USDA JSON
Data Last Modified 2019-08-05
Program Code 005:040
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 69929e3bc8838889d3bbc87f59e72d709da5a67e
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial POLYGON ((-104.785833 40.8575, -104.730556 40.8575, -104.730556 40.800278, -104.785833 40.800278))

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.