Vegetation surveys identify the plant species in each plot, how many species are present, and the fraction of the total plot area each species covered. The latter two are referred to as species diversity and percent cover respectively. Samples of biomass are cut from each plot to estimate biomass growth through the summer. Soil samples are collected from each plot and analyzed for nutrient concentrations (i.e. N, P, K, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, Ca, Mg, pH levels, organic matter, and cation exchange capacity).
Using the supplemental funds from the NFWF, individual plants were identified and marked in the southwest plots and are monitored for the blooming and growth time, seed development, and other phenological characteristics. Plant species chosen for phenological monitoring were restricted to those cataloged in the U.S. National Phenology Network so that data from this project could be used by others.