The NEON naming convention for subplots within Base plots, at which several Terrestrial Observation (TOS) protocols are implemented, is being changed to clarify the location of data collection. The new format consists of the identity of the plot point in the southwest corner of the subplot, the scale or size of the subplot, and, for those subplots smaller than 100 m2, the corner of the 100 m2 subplot in which the smaller subplot is located. For example, ‘21_400’ refers to point 21 in the southwest corner and is 400 m2 (20 m x 20 m), and ‘31_1_1’ is a subplot with point 31 in the southwest corner, is 1 m2, and is in corner 1 of the 100 m2 subplot with point 31 in the southwest corner.
TOS Base plot subplot renaming changes
The naming convention of all subplots within Base plots will now include the size or scale of the subplot and, for those subplots smaller than 100 m2, the corner of the 100 m2 subplot in which the smaller subplot is located. The format is: the point in the southwest corner, scale or size of the subplot, and (if applicable) the corner of the 100 m2 subplot (e.g., ‘21_400’ or ‘41_10_2’, Figure 1 and 2).
Previously, subplots of 100 m2 or 400 m2 were identified by the point in the southwest corner of the subplot (e.g., ‘21’ or ‘41’). Subplots smaller than 100 m2 were previously named according to the point in the southwest corner of the 100 m2 subplot, the subplot corner, and the scale (e.g., ‘41.2.10’). Differences are:
- The inclusion of scale in all subplotIDs; what was ‘21’ will be ‘21_400’,
- The change in location of the subplot scale or size and the identifying corner in the subplot string for subplots smaller than 100 m2, and
- String components are now separated by an underscore (“_”) instead of a period (“.”); what was subplot ‘31.1.10’ will become ‘31_10_1’.
When changes will occur
The change will be reflected in Provisional data starting in mid-November 2023; it will appear in all data in the 2024 Release and subsequent Provisional data and data Releases. RELEASE-2021, -2022, and -2023 data contain the prior naming convention and will not change.
The change will happen at all Base plots at all NEON terrestrial sites.
Impacted data products
- Herbaceous clip harvest (DP1.10023.001)
- Litterfall and fine woody debris production and chemistry (DP1.10033.001)
- Plant foliar traits (DP1.10026.001)
- Plant presence and percent cover (DP1.10058.001)
- Root biomass and chemistry, periodic (DP1.10067.001)
- Soil physical and chemical properties, periodic (DP1.10086.001)
- Vegetation structure (DP1.10098.001)
Impacted code resources
neonUtilities and neonOS are unaffected by this change, and operate as usual on both the new and deprecated naming conventions. geoNEON will be updated to operate smoothly on both.
Figure 1. The new Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Base plot subplot naming convention is formatted as southwest corner pointID_scale for subplots of 400 m2 and 100m2. For example, subplot ‘21_400’ is a 400 m2 subplot bounded by the point identifiers 21, 23, 39, and 41 (b). Subplot ‘21_100’ is 100 m2 and is bounded by the points 21, 22, 30, and 31 (b). Subplot ‘31_100’ is 100 m2 and is bounded by the points 31, 32, 40, and 41 (a).
Figure 2. The new TOS Base plot subplot naming convention for subplots smaller than 100 m2 is defined by the southwest corner pointID_scale_corner. Corner is the corner of the 100 m2 subplot in which they reside, labeled 1-4 in italics (a and b) . Subplot ‘31_10_1’ is located within subplot ‘31_100’, is 10 m2 in size, and is in corner 1 of 31_100 (a). Subplot ‘51_25_4’ is in ‘51_100’, is 25 m2, and is in corner 4 of ‘51_100’.