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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF127

Timber Harvesting Field Study in Western Massachusetts 2004-2005

Related Publications

Data

Overview

  • Lead: David Kittredge, David Foster, Robert McDonald
  • Investigators: John Burk, Glenn Motzkin
  • Contact: David Kittredge
  • Start date: 2004
  • End date: 2005
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Western Massachusetts
  • Latitude: +41.7 to +42.8
  • Longitude: -73.5 to -71.1
  • Elevation: 62 to 1063 meter
  • Taxa:
  • Release date: 2009
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.127.12
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: conservation and management; physiological ecology, population dynamics and species interactions
  • LTER core area: disturbance
  • Keywords: geographic information systems, management, region, timber harvest, vegetation dynamics
  • Abstract:

    Forest harvesting is one of the most significant disturbances affecting forest plant composition and structure in Western Massachusetts, yet few studies have quantified the effects of harvesting in this region. Massachusetts requires all commercial harvest operations above 87 m3 to file a Forest Cutting Plan (FCP) with the state. We have digitized these FCPs (see McDonald et al. 2006), covering all harvests from 1984 to 2003. Our study area is Massachusetts west of the coastal basin, as defined by Motts and O’Brian (1981). We selected 126 sites for sampling. Two-thirds of the sites (89) were harvested once between 1984 and 2003, and these were selected randomly from the larger FCP database. The remaining one-third of the sites (37) were control sites selected randomly from all unharvested forest in the study area. The boundaries for our field surveys were those filed with the FCP for harvested sites, and were circular for control sites, proportional in size to the mean FCP in the physiographic region (Motts and O'Brien 1981): Connecticut River Valley (10.7 ha), Central Upland (11.3 ha), Berkshire Valley and Taconic Mountains (12.6 ha), and the Western Upland (15.9 ha). Note that our sampled sites were well-dispersed over the study area, and encompassed the variety of past agricultural land-use.

  • Methods:

    During the summer of 2004 and 2005, sampling proceeded at each site at three spatial scales. First, we surveyed the entire polygon to understand the distribution of harvesting within the polygon and determine the major stand type (i.e., hardwood, evergreen, or mixed). We also took notes on the non-native invasive species encountered.

    Second, within the major stand type (i.e., excluding small areas of the polygon of different type) we randomly placed 10 plots, with the constraint that they be at least 50m from one another. Tree basal area (m2/ha) and density (#/ha) were measured for overstory (greater than 20 cm DBH) and understory (5-20 cm DBH) trees using the point-quarter method (Cottan and Curtis 1956). Fixed area circular plots were used to count seedlings (stems less than 1.37m) and saplings (stems greater than 1.37m and less than 5cm DBH) within 2m and 5m radius plots, respectively. We also tallied and measured the diameter of all stumps within an 11.3 radius plot.

    Third, within the major stand type we chose an area representative of the typical flora of the stand. Within this general region, a random direction was chosen, and 30m were paced in that direction. Wherever we stopped formed the southwest corner of a 20m x 20m intensive plot. The DBH of all trees was measured, and seedlings and saplings were measured in 5m x 5m and 5m x 20m nested subplots, respectively. We recorded all vascular plant species in the 20m x 20m plot, and estimated their cover using an 8 class scale: (1 = less than 1%, 2 = 1-3%, 3 = 3-5%, 4 = 5-15%, 5 = 15-25%, 6 = 25-50%, 7 = 50-75%, 8 = greater than 75%). We also measured the basal diameter of all stumps within the plot or in a 5m buffer around it. A soil pit was dug to 50cm depth, and we examined the soil probe for evidence of a plow layer. Using this information, as well as other evidence of land-use such as the presence of stone walls, barbed wire, old field white pines, and chestnut sprouts (present only in sites that were forested before the 1910s chestnut blight), we classified the site into one of three categories of local land-use: woodlot, if the site has remained forested; pasture, if the site was used as rough, unimproved pasture, and plowed, if there was clear evidence the soil had been disturbed. We checked this classification with land-use data from the 1830s (Hall et al. 2002) and from the 1930s maps of the Works Progress Administration, where available. We believe, based on a review of the polygons and the historical data sources, that the land-use history inferred for the 20m x 20m plot will be accurate for the majority of the area of the polygon. Two soil samples were taken of the organic soil and the top 15 cm of mineral soil to characterize soil texture and nutrients (Brookside Laboratories). Slope, aspect, canopy closure, and percent surface rock were estimated in the center of the 20m x 20m plot.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Kittredge D, Foster D, McDonald R. 2009. Timber Harvesting Field Study in Western Massachusetts 2004-2005. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF127.

Detailed Metadata

hf127-01: polygon information

  1. file.id: a unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  2. observers: the crew that worked on the polygon
  3. date: the date at which the polygon was sampled
  4. stand.type: the dominant stand-type, as determined from field recon. (Deciduous, Mixed, or Evergreen)
  5. search.time: the amount of time spent searching the polygon for exotics (unit: second / missing value: NA)
  6. num.observers: the number of people searching the polygon for invasives (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. moose: notes on whether there is evidence of moose from the polygon, like scat and bent saplings
    • absent: no evidence of moose
    • present: evidence of moose
  8. poly.harvest.per: percent of the polygon that has stumps in it. Often much less than a 100%. (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  9. comments: any comments the observers made about the polygon

hf127-02: polygon other information

  1. rec: unique identifier of the record
  2. file.id: unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  3. landuse: landuse. A soil pit was dug to 50cm depth, and we examined the soil probe for evidence of a plow layer. Using this information, as well as other evidence of land-use such as the presence of stone walls, barbed wire, old field white pines, and chestnut sprouts (present only in sites that were forested before the 1910s chestnut blight), we classified the site into one of three categories of local land-use: woodlot, if the site has remained forested; pasture, if the site was used as rough, unimproved pasture, and plowed, if there was clear evidence the soil had been disturbed. We checked this classification with land-use data from the 1830s (Hall et al. 2002) and from the 1930s maps of the Works Progress Administration, where available. (Woodlot, Pasture, Plowed)
  4. x.utm: the easting of the UTM coordinates (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  5. y.utm: the Northing of the UTM coordinates (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  6. elevation: elevation (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  7. region: the physiographic region in which the polygon was located, based on Motts' physiographic regions (degree). Central Upland, CRV, Western Upland, Berkshire Valley/Taconic Mountains.
  8. surficial: the surficial geology type (till, sand, or alluvial)
  9. tci: the calculated topographic convergence index, derived from a DEM
  10. precip: estimated annual precipitation. Contact Brian Hall for info. (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  11. gdd: estimated growing degree days. Contact Brian Hall for info. (degree-days) (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  12. forest1830: whether the site was forested or not in 1830. Some sites have no data. Derived from 1830 land-use maps.
    • open1830: not forested in 1830
    • forest1830: forested in 1830
    • NA: no data
  13. bedrock: the bedrock-type of the polygon, as derived from MassGIS data layers. (Either Granitic, Mafic, Calcareous)

hf127-03: polygon plans

  1. file.id: unique ID code assigned by the state to the cut
  2. fis.year: year the cut was reported. Note that landowners had two years to cut the site, and need not do so. Estimated ~5% of the time an FCP is not executed.
  3. date.rec: date a cut was recorded
  4. town.1: principal town of the cut
  5. town.2: secondary town of the cut, used when the cut crossed town boundaries
  6. acres.rep: reported number of acres of the plan. Inaccurate, use GIS-calculate hectares. (unit: acre / missing value: NA)
  7. volu.mbf: total reported timber removed in thousand board feet (unit: thousandBoardFoot / missing value: NA)
  8. volu.cds: total reported firewood removed in cords (unit: cord / missing value: NA)
  9. vol.oth: total reported wood taken for other purposes. Units often unclear. (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. own.type: ownership type. The coding here is from the state.
    • 1: DEM (DCR) state lands
    • 2: MDC
    • 3: Local agencies: town DPWs, airports, commissions, etc.
    • 4: Nonprofits: conservation groups, churches
    • 5: Private landowners
    • 6: Sawmills, industrial forestland owned by a processing firm
    • 7: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • 8: MA Fish and Wildlife
  11. public: whether the land is public
    • y: puclic land
    • n: not public land
  12. wetland.cr: wetland presence or absence
    • y: wetland contained in the bounds of the FCP
    • n: no wetland contained in the bounds of the FCP
  13. fortype1: the primary type of forest
    • wp: White Pine
    • wk: Pine/Hemlock
    • wh: Pine/Hardwood
    • wo: Pine/Oak
    • rp: Red Pine
    • sr: Red Spruce
    • sf: Spruce
    • pp: Pitch Pine
    • po: Pitch Pine/Oak
    • hk: Hemlock
    • hh: Hemlock/Hardwood
    • tk: Tamarack
    • cd: Cedar
    • oh: Oak/Hardwood
    • bw: White Birch
    • or: Red Oak
    • om: Mixed Oak
    • rm: Red Maple
    • bc: Black Cherry
    • bb: Beech/Birch/Maple
    • sm: Sugar Maple
    • bm: Birch/Red Maple
    • be: Beech
    • ot: Other
  14. primobj1: the goal of the cut in type 1
    • wp: Wood Production
    • wh: Wildlife Habitat
    • imp: Improvement. Note: the cutting plan form changed after 1996, and the code IMP was discontinued.
    • in: Short term income
    • sw: Soils and water management
    • ar: Aesthetics/Recreation
    • inter: Intermediate. Note: the cutting plan form changed after 1996, and the code INTER was discontinued.
    • sa: Salvage
    • ot: Other
  15. typereg1: the type of regeneration that is the goal for type 1. Multiple forest types, objectives, and regenerative cuts were sometimes listed for each stand (i.e. WPINSW).
    • se: Selective
    • sh: Shelterwood
    • st: Seed Tree
    • cc: Clear Cut
    • sa: Salvage
    • co: Coppice
    • cs: Coppice with standards
    • ot: Other
  16. fortype2: the secondary type of forest. See codes above.
  17. primobj2: the goal of the cut in type 2. See codes above.
  18. typereg2: the type of regeneration that is the goal for type 2. Multiple forest types, objectives, and regenerative cuts were sometimes listed for each stand (i.e. WPINSW). See codes above.
  19. fortype3: the tertiary type of forest. See codes above.
  20. primobj3: the goal of the cut in type 3. See codes above.
  21. typereg3: the type of regeneration that is the goal for type 3. Multiple forest types, objectives, and regenerative cuts were sometimes listed for each stand (i.e. WPINSW). See codes above.
  22. fortype4: the quartiary type of forest. See codes above.
  23. primobj4: the goal of the cut in type 4. See codes above.
  24. typereg4: the type of regeneration that is the goal for type 4. Multiple forest types, objectives, and regenerative cuts were sometimes listed for each stand (i.e. WPINSW). See codes above.
  25. species: species code, each species is abbreviated by 6-8 letters
  26. unit: units the volumn is measured in
    • mbf: thousand board feet
    • ton: tons
    • c: cords
    • ccf: cubic cord feet
  27. volume: species-specific volume (various units)
  28. tot.mbf: sum of the MBF measurements. Sometimes, the landowner did the math wrong. (unit: thousandBoardFoot / missing value: NA)
  29. tot.cds: sum of the cords measurements. Sometimes, the landowner did the math wrong. (unit: cord / missing value: NA)
  30. tot.ton: sum of the tons measurements. Sometimes, the landowner did the math wrong. (unit: ton / missing value: NA)
  31. tot.ccf: sum of the Cubic cord feet measurements. Sometimes, the landowner did the math wrong. (unit: footCubed / missing value: NA)
  32. approved: sometimes explictly coded as "y" for yes, but all these plans were approved
    • y: explicitly coded as aprroved
    • n: not explicitly coded as approved
  33. n.polys: number of polygons in the FCP (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  34. notes: notes

hf127-04: polygon cutting

  1. file.id: unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  2. area.ha: area in hectares as defined by the GIS boundaries (unit: hectare / missing value: NA)
  3. fis.year: year the cut was reported. Note that landowners had two years to cut the site, and need not do so. Estimated ~5% of the time an FCP is not executed.
  4. acres.rep: acres the landowner reported. Often wrong. (unit: acre / missing value: NA)
  5. species.vol: species code for species-specific volumes, each species is abbreviated by 6-8 letters and M3 to denote units used
  6. volume: species-specific volume (unit: cubicMeter / missing value: NA)
  7. estimated: sum of the landowners itemized removals (unit: cubicMeter / missing value: NA)
  8. tot.m3: landowners stated total removal (unit: cubicMeter / missing value: NA)
  9. best.m3: best guess of what was removed based on the above. See HF080 Methods. (unit: cubicMeter / missing value: NA)
  10. species.int: species code for species-specific intensity, each species is abbreviated by 6-8 letters and HA to denote units used
  11. intensity: species-specific intensity (unit: meterCubedPerHectare / missing value: NA)
  12. estimated.1: sum of the landowners itemized removals (unit: meterCubedPerHectare / missing value: NA)
  13. tot.ha: landowners stated total removal (unit: meterCubedPerHectare / missing value: NA)
  14. best.ha: best guess of the intensity of harvesting based on the above. See HF080 Methods. (unit: meterCubedPerHectare / missing value: NA)

hf127-05: polygon invasives

  1. file.id: unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  2. species: invasive species, abbreviated by the first three letters of the genus and species
  3. presence: presence of invasive species
    • 0: absent
    • 1: rare
    • 2: uncommon
    • 3: common

hf127-06: stand information

  1. rec: unique identifier for the record
  2. file.id: unique identifier for the polygon in which the record occurs
  3. pq.num: the identifying number of the record within the polygon. Most polygons have ten total.
  4. aspect: the aspect of the slope on which the record occurs (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  5. position: the landscape position of the record (Upslope, midslope, or downslope)
  6. rock: the percent rock within an 11.3 m radius of the sample point (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  7. slope: the slope of the record. See next attribute for units used. (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  8. slopeunit: the units the slope was recorded with (percent or degree)

hf127-07: stand trees

  1. rec: unique identifier for the record
  2. poly.id: unique identifier for the polygon in which the record occurs
  3. pt.quart.num: identifying number of the record within the polygon. Most polygons have ten total.
  4. size.class: whether in the understory (5-20cm DBH) and the overstory (20cm DBH +)
    • 5: understory
    • 20: overstory
  5. tree.sps: species of the record
  6. dbh: diameter of the stem (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  7. dist: distance to the stem from the point (unit: meter / missing value: NA)

hf127-08: stand saplings

  1. rec: unique identifier for the record
  2. poly.id: unique identifier for the polygon in which the record occurs
  3. pt.quart.num: identifying number of the record within the polygon. Most polygons have ten total.
  4. species: species of the record
  5. origin: whether the sapling seems to have come from seedling or from sprouting
  6. sapl.num: number of saplings associated with the record (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf127-09: stand seedlings

  1. rec: unique identifier for the record
  2. poly.id: unique identifier for the polygon in which the record occurs
  3. pt.quart.num: identifying number of the record within the polygon. Most polygons have ten total.
  4. species: species of the record
  5. seedl.num: number of seedlings associated with the record (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf127-10: stand stumps

  1. rec: unique identifier for the record
  2. poly.id: unique identifier for the polygon in which the record occurs
  3. pt.qt.num: number of the record within the polygon
  4. stump.sps: species of the record
  5. diameter: diameter of the stump at ground level (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)

hf127-11: stand invasives

  1. rec: unique identifier of the record
  2. file.id: unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  3. pq.num: number of the record within the polygon
  4. species: invasive species code, abbreviated by the first three letters of the genus and species
  5. presence: presence of invasive species
    • 0: absent
    • 1: rare
    • 2: uncommon
    • 3: common

hf127-12: plot information

  1. file.id: unique identifier of the polygon in which the plot occurred
  2. utm.zone: zone in which UTM coordinates were recorded
    • 17: Eastern Massachusetts
    • 18: Western Massachusetts
  3. utm.n: the Northing of the UTM coordinates (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  4. utm.e: the Easting of the UTM coordinates (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  5. aspect: the aspect of the slope with zero being north (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  6. elevation: elevation (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  7. canopy1: percent canopy closure, facing one edge of the plot (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  8. canopy2: percent canopy closure, facing one edge of the plot (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  9. canopy3: percent canopy closure, facing one edge of the plot (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  10. canopy4: percent canopy closure, facing one edge of the plot (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  11. land.post: the landscape position of the plot (upslope, midslope, or downslope)
  12. rock.per: percent surface rock in the plot (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  13. slope: slope of the plot, see next attribute for units used (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
  14. slopeunit: units used to record the slope (either "degree", or "percent".)
  15. comments: any comments on the plot

hf127-13: plot soil pits

  1. file.id: the polygon in which the record occurs
  2. tipup: notes on whether tip-up mounds are present in the plot (Present/Absent)
  3. fire: notes on whether there is evidence of fire in a plot (Present/Absent)
  4. oldfield: notes on whether there are white pines that clearly grew up in an old-field, due to their branching canopy (Present/Absent)
  5. walls: notes on whether there are stone walls in or near the plot (Present/Absent)
  6. stones: notes on whether there are stones in or near the plot (Present/Absent)
  7. ap: notes on whether there is a plow layer in the soil (Present/Absent)
  8. new.a: notes on whether there is a new A layer forming above the plow layer (Present/Absent)
  9. ap.depth: if there is an AP, its depth (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  10. a.depth: the depth of the A layer (only recorded if there was no Ap layer) (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  11. ehorizon: notes on whether there is an eluviation layer in the soil (Present/Absent)
  12. distinct: how distinct the boundary is between the A and B layer (See protocol for details.)
    • Abrupt: abrupt boundary
    • Gradual: gradual boundary
    • Diffuse: diffuse boundary
    • NA: no data
  13. orgdep1: the depth of the organic layer, at one point in the plot (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  14. orgdep2: the depth of the organic layer, at one point in the plot (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  15. orgdep3: the depth of the organic layer, at one point in the plot (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  16. orgdep4: the depth of the organic layer, at one point in the plot (unit: angstrom / missing value: NA)
  17. orgdep5: the depth of the organic layer, at one point in the plot (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  18. notes: notes on the soil interpretation, and possible land-use

hf127-14: plot trees

  1. poly.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  2. species: species of the record
  3. dbh: diameter at breast height of the tree (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  4. dead: a dummy variable, recording if the tree is dead
    • 0: alive
    • 1: dead
  5. clone: records whether the tree is part of a clone or not. The other trees in the clone will always be in the record above or below the current one, and will also have the appropriate code in this field.
    • 0: not part of a clone
    • 1: part of a clone
  6. id: unique identifier for each record. If sorted in ascending order, this places trees that are in the same clone next to one another.

hf127-15: plot saplings

  1. rec: unique identifier number for each record
  2. poly.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  3. species: species of the record
  4. sapl.num: the number of saplings of that species in a given plot (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf127-16: plot seedlings

  1. rec: unique identifier number for each record
  2. poly.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  3. species: species of the record
  4. seed.num: number of seedlings of that species in a given plot (unit: number / missing value: NA)

hf127-17: plot herbs all

  1. rec: unique identifier number for each record
  2. file.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  3. genus: genus of the record
  4. species: species of the record. When unknown, just recorded as "sp."
  5. cover: cover-class of the record
    • 1: less than 1%
    • 2: 1-3%
    • 3: 3-5%
    • 4: 5-15%
    • 5: 15-25%
    • 6: 25-50%
    • 7: 50-75%
    • 8: greater than 75%
  6. sample: a dummy variable that records if a sample of the record was taken in the field, to double-check ID.
  7. scientific.name: genus + species

hf127-18: plot herbs lumped

  1. rec: unique identifier number for each record
  2. file.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  3. genus: Genus of the record. These plants have been lumped, to facilitate analysis: species in the genera Actaea, Arisaema, Aronia, Circaea, Corylus, Galium, Glyceria, Oxalis, Panicum (Dichanthelium), Polypodium, Prenanthes, Rhododendron, Ribes, Sambucus, Spiraea, Tiarella, Ulmus, Veronica, and Viola were lumped to genus. For Aster, we created three groups: Aster divaricatus, Aster acuminatus, and other. Similarly, for Carex we recognized four groups: Carex debilis, Carex laxiflora, Carex pensylvanica, and other; for Solidago, we recognized two groups: Solidago rugosa and other.
  4. species: species of the record. When unknown, just recorded as "sp."
  5. cover: cover-class of the record
    • 1: less than 1%
    • 2: 1-3%
    • 3: 3-5%
    • 4: 5-15%
    • 5: 15-25%
    • 6: 25-50%
    • 7: 50-75%
    • 8: greater than 75%
  6. sample: a dummy variable that records if a sample of the record was taken in the field, to double-check ID.
  7. scientific.name: genus + species

hf127-19: plot stumps

  1. rec: unique identifier number for each record
  2. poly.id: polygon in which the record occurs
  3. species: species of the record
  4. diameter: diameter at ground level of the stump (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)

hf127-20: zip file contains ArcView shape files of Prospect Hill Tract GIS

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: zip
  • Type: zip