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Harvard Forest Data Archive


Population Dynamics of Pink Lady Slipper in Weston MA since 2014

Related Publications



  • Lead: Brian Donahue, Jason Aylward, David Foster
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Jason Aylward
  • Start date: 2014
  • End date: 2018
  • Status: ongoing
  • Location: Weston, MA
  • Latitude: +42.32 to +42.40
  • Longitude: -71.33 to -71.27
  • Elevation: 55 meter
  • Taxa: Cypripedium acaule (pink lady slipper), Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)
  • Release date: 2019
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.317.2
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: long-term measurement
  • Research topic: conservation and management
  • LTER core area: populations, disturbance
  • Keywords: browsing, conservation, deer, population dynamics, understory vegetation
  • Abstract:

    The pink lady slipper (Cypripedium acaule) is an iconic understory plant of Massachusetts forests. It is easy to find and identify and is on the United States Forest Service list of white-tailed deer browse. Brian Donahue and members of the Weston Conservation Commission engaged a local garden club to start surveying trails for pink lady slippers. The project was designed to engage the community in a citizen science project that would bring community members into the discussion of conservation land management decisions. It also supports the long-term goal of linking white-tailed deer browse to lady slipper community dynamics.

  • Methods:

    A crew consisting of a scribe and a counter were assigned a series of predetermined trail segments. The scribe walked the trail while the counter walked 20 feet off the trail. Both the scribe and the counter looked for plants. Each plant found was counted and inspected for flowers and deer browse damage. Each trail got walked twice, once for each side. For each trail segment (transect), the total numbers of plants, flowers, and deer-browsed plants were recorded. Detailed census instructions are found in hf317-03-ladyslipper-protocol.pdf.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Donahue B, Aylward J, Foster D. 2019. Population Dynamics of Pink Lady Slipper in Weston MA since 2014. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF317.

Detailed Metadata

hf317-01: lady slipper census

  1. date: date of sampling
  2. name of volunteer who collected the data
  3. property: property on which trail segment is located
  4. name of trail segment. See hf317-02-ladyslipper-maps.pdf for transect locations.
  5. total.plants: number of pink lady slippers (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  6. one.flower: number of plants in flower. Includes pre-burst buds, open flowers and browsed-off flowers with only a flower stalk remaining. (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. leaf.browse: number of plants with deer-browsed leaves (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. flower.browse: total number of deer-browsed flowers with ragged-edged flower stalk remaining (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  9. stem.browse: total number of deer-browsed flowers where the stalks have been browsed to the base of the plant (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. person who entered the data
    • c.c.: Cacildia “Cassie” Cain
    • j.a.a.: Jason Allen Aylward
    • m.c.: Molly Cahill
  11. date of data entry
  12. notes: transect notes
  13. person who checked the data after entry
    • c.c.: Cacildia “Cassie” Cain
    • j.a.a.: Jason Allen Aylward
    • m.c.: Molly Cahill
  14. date.checked: date the data was checked

hf317-02: transect maps

  • Compression: none
  • Format: pdf
  • Type: pdf file

hf317-03: census instructions

  • Compression: none
  • Format: pdf
  • Type: pdf file