Featured Data

Mohonk Preserve Amphibian and Water Quality Monitoring Dataset at 11 Vernal Pools from 1931-Present

July 1, 2019

Susanne Grossman-Clarke


Mohonk Preserve, N. Feldsine, A. Forester, A. Garretson, P. Huth, E. Long, M. Napoli, E. Pierce, D. Smiley, S. Smiley, J. Thompson. 2019. Mohonk Preserve Amphibian and Water Quality Monitoring Dataset at 11 Vernal Pools from 1931-Present. Environmental Data Initiative. https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/864aea25998b73c5d1a5b5f36cb6583e. Dataset accessed 7/10/2019.


This data package has been published with the support of EDI’s Summer 2019 Fellow Alexis Garretson. The Mohonk Preserve’s Daniel Smiley Research Center near New Paltz, NY has been monitoring species occupancy, reproductive success, and water quality of 11 vernal pools on the Preserve since April 1931. The vernal pools are Ski Loop, Bonticou, Terrace, Long Woodland Pool, Long Woodland Swamp, Oakwood, Sleepy Hollow, Hermits, North Mud Pond, Canaan, and Talus. This project aims to document changes in the reproductive behavior and phenology of amphibians and to allow research access to these historical, longitudinal records. The dataset is a paired record of amphibian occurrence with environmental indicators spanning nearly 90 years of data collection.

The historical records data had to be extracted from notecards, examples of which are shown in the figure above.

The dataset includes environmental conditions for the 730 sampling events associated with the species occurrences, along with complete air temperature and precipitation records and partial coverage for a variety of other weather and water quality measures. Species occurrence data collection has included species identification and counts of live and dead adults, mated pairs, egg masses, spermatophores, juveniles and tadpole counts as well as a record of the level of frog calling. Weather conditions including precipitation, sky and wind codes. Water quality measurements include water temperature, pH, and depth. Collection of data was sporadic from 1931 – 1991 but has been collected consistently from 1991 to present. We also began monitoring dissolved oxygen, nitrate concentrations, and conductivity of the vernal pools using a YSI Sonde Professional Plus Instrument and turbidity using a turbidity tube in February 2018. The data collection is ongoing, as are digitization efforts, and the data package will receive periodic updates.


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