Abstract: This vegetation data package comprises structure and floristic data for selected points across grids described in related data packages collected between 1993 and 2018. Vegetation attributes were recorded in an area occupying 2.5 m radius around six traps on each trapping grid and have been aggregated to grid level data. Percentage cover of all plant species, flowering index and seeding index (from 0-5, where 0 is no flowering or seeding and 5 is maximal flowering/seeding) were recorded and are presented here as plot averages which represent the mean amount of flowering or seeding per species. The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are sampled every April-May. The trapping survey aims to quantitatively track long-term shifts in biodiversity and ecological processes in relation to key drivers, including unpredictable rainfall and droughts, fire, feral predators and grazing.
A synopsis of related data packages which have been collected as part of the Desert Ecology's full program is provided at https://doi.org/10.25911/5c13171d944fe.
Sampling method: The network program uses a core of 12 sites which are spaced at least 15 km apart, each comprising two 1-ha trapping grids, or plots which are spaced between 0.5-2 km apart. The project involved sampling vegetation structure and plant species composition on the live-trapping grids (used for mammal and reptile sampling) in the Simpson Desert since 1990. Vegetation attributes (plant species occurrence and cover estimates) are recorded in a 2.5 m radius around six pitfall traps on each vertebrate trapping grid (one trap/line, selected at random - see Figure 6.5). The same traps on each grid are re-surveyed each trip; in general, these surveys are conducted around two traps each on the swale, side and crest of the dune. The core of 12 sites are sampled every April-May. Other elements of the plot network’s full program share the sampling structure and core sites/plot/grid configuration of the study design.
Study extent: There are often changes to the scientific names due to revisions of their taxonomy. These data have chosen to maintain the use of older taxonomies to ensure consistency with previous data in the time series.
Please note the following taxonomic revisions (the former name is the name used in these data):
 Acacia hookeri -> Acacia ericifolia;
 Adriana hookeri -> Adriana tomentosa var. hookeri;
 Helipterum molle -> Leucochrysum molle;
 Helipterum floribundum -> Rhodanthe floribunda;
 Helipterum moschatum -> Rhodanthe moschata;
 Mukia maderaspatana -> Cucumis althaeoides;
 Myriocephalus stuartii -> Polycalymma stuartii;
 Othonna gregorii -> Senecio gregorii;
 Psoralea eriantha -> Cullen patens;
 Ptilotus atriplicifolius -> Ptilotus sessilifolius;
 Ptilotus exaltatus -> Ptilotus nobilis subsp. nobilis;
 Rulingia loxophylla -> Androcalva loxophylla;
 Salsola kali -> Salsola australis;
 Trianthema pilosa -> Trianthema pilosum
Project funding: Between 2012 and 2018 this project was part of, and funded through the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN) a facility within the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.