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Biocrust cover, vegetation, and climate data across 23 years (1996-2019) from a protected grassland within Canyonlands National Park, Utah

March 21, 2022

These tabular data were compiled for/to monitor vegetation and biocrust cover in a never grazed grassland located in Canyonlands National Park. An objective, or objectives, of our study was to document potential changes in biocrust and vegetation cover and species composition as related to changes in land use and climate change. These data represent a timeseries of long-term vegetation and biocrust monitoring plots, dating from 1996 to 2019. These data were collected at/in Virginia Park, Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Utah. These data were collected by the USGS Southwest Biological Research Center in coordination with the US National Park Service. Data were collected via field observations twice annually, once in the Spring (April-May) and once in fall (Sept.) starting in 1996. A weather station was established in 1998 which recorded hourly temperature and precipitation measurements on a portable data storage module which was switched out and downloaded approximately every 3 months. These data can be used to monitor long term trends and changes in vegetation in a rare, protected and never grazed grassland on the Colorado Plateau, and help with monitoring trends in similar dryland ecosystems.