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Riparian plant, algae, and moss nitrogen and carbon isotopes across the iUTAH watersheds

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Created: Jul 16, 2016 at 4:40 p.m.
Last updated: Feb 01, 2017 at 5:56 a.m.
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This dataset reports the nitrogen isotope composition of leaves from 11 common riparian plant species collected from streams across the three iUTAH watersheds in October 2013 and July-August 2014. In addition, algae and moss samples were collected at many of the same sites on the Salt Lake Valley streams in September 2014. See the attached abstract and methods for more details.

Leaf samples were collected at 255 sites. Sites consisted of a ~ 30 m transect parallel to the stream, including both sides of the stream when possible. We sampled leaves from up to 11 species representative of the local flora when present (see spreadsheet for species names). Plants were only sampled if they were in close proximity (< 2 m) of the perennial channel or were visibly rooted in the stream. At each site, we collected 5 – 15 leaves from each species, including a mixture of mature sun and shade leaves from all parts of the plant. Where multiple individuals of the same species were present at the same site, we sampled leaves from up to five individuals, which were then composited by species. We sampled Salt Lake Valley sites during late September / early October 2013, and Cache and Heber Valley sites in late July 2014.

Please approach the algae/moss carbon isotope data with caution as carbonates were not removed prior to analysis; however, samples were thoroughly rinsed in deionized water to remove associated sediment.

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
20 streams from the Salt Lake, Heber, and Cache Valleys/Multiple Watersheds
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Additional Metadata

Name Value
Observed Variables Original sample ID (denotes ID in SIRFER database), Species name (factor variable), Site (factor variable), Sample type (factor variable), Stream/river name (factor variable), Land use category (factor variable), Watershed name (factor variable), Longitude, Latitude, δ13C (per mil), Carbon content (%), δ15N (per mil), Nitrogen content (%)
Variable Description Site and stable isotope values
Data Collection Method Leaves were oven-dried at 70 °C and ground to a fine powder with mortar and pestle under liquid nitrogen, and analyzed for C and N isotope ratios and elemental content. We report N isotope ratios in δ notation relative to atmospheric N2, with a mean analytical precision &lt; 0.2‰, and C isotope ratios relative to VPDB.


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation iUTAH-innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability 1208732


People or Organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Rebecca Hale University of Utah
Michelle Baker Utah State University
David Bowling University of Utah
Jim Ehleringer University of Utah

How to Cite

Hall, S. (2017). Riparian plant, algae, and moss nitrogen and carbon isotopes across the iUTAH watersheds, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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