Lessons from Five Years of Vegetation Monitoring on the Nevada Test Site

Richard B. Hunter, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering, Co., Inc.

CONF-9205246--1-Vugraphs DE92 040577


In 1987 the U.S. Department of Energy funded a formal, extensive monitoring program for the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site. The goal was to understand and record changes with time in the distribution and abundance of the plants and animals. The need to detect changes, rather than do a one-time characterization, required careful selection of parameters and the use of permanent plots revealed errors and imprecision which required changes in training and data collection techniques. Interpretation of trends after several years suggested it will be important to monitor no only changes, but causes of change, such as soil moisture and herbivory. Finally, the requirement for records to be available over long periods of time poses problems of archiving and publication.