Measurement protocols for African woodlands and savannas
We are developing a set of linked protocols that will allow for data collected across the region to be compared, whilst retaining flexibility to suit the many different objectives of researchers in the region. All the protocols are ‘living documents’, and we welcome input and suggestions from all. Previous versions of the SEOSAW protocols can be found here.
The following protocols are currently available:
And to help you with these protocols, we have recently created this recommended equipment list.
We provide template field datasheets and data entry files if you are thinking about setting up your own plot in the SEOSAW style:
- Blank plot datasheet
- Blank stem datasheet
- Plot data entry template
- Stem data entry template
- Blank disturbance datasheet [fr] [es] [pt]
- Field Cheat Sheet
We use KoboToolbox to host digital data entry forms for use on Android devices. Follow these instructions to get setup with your Android device. Remember to consult the SEOSAW plot design and stem measurements manual before collecting data.
Purpose of the protocols
- Not to suggest novel methods, but to borrow from elsewhere, and present methods that have been tried and tested by the partners in tropical savannas and woodlands.
- To share experience about what works and what does not, to avoid mistakes being repeated.
- To allow data to be collected in a way that makes it easy to integrate with others in the SEOSAW network, and gives confidence is comparisons across the network.
- To make the SEOSAW network as comparable as possible with other regional networks in the wet tropics such as AfriTRON, and with other savanna and dry forest plot networks.
- To provide guidance on the minimum set of measurements to achieve integration within SEOSAW, but not to preclude many other measurements.
- The methods are also designed to be compatible with the data in ForestPlots.net (although they are not as exhaustive) to allow the use of the ForesPlots.net data infrastructure and associated analysis tools.
- To minimise effort by reducing the need to document methods (if they are in line with the protocol). I.e. you should be able to say “we followed the SEOSAW protocol version x”).
- To minimise effort by allowing the use of the SEOSAW data tables, code, database, and tablets for data collection, and the use of ForestPlots.net for long term, secure storage.
- To suggest methods aimed at long term permanent plots that are to be remeasured approximately every 2-5 years to study changes in ecosystem structure, diversity, carbon storage, mortality and growth.