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ForestGEO Plot

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In 2014, Harvard Forest completed the initial mapping for its 35-hectare (85-acre) forest dynamics monitoring plot within the Smithsonian/CTFS Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO). Every woody stem over 1cm in diameter in the plot has been GIS-mapped, tagged, and measured - over 116,000 stems in all.

The primary phase of the second census of the trees and shrubs in the plot was completed in 2019, with the count of stems now over 122,000. If funding can be sustained, the plot will be remeasured every five years in perpetuity.

Many of the Forest's longest-running research experiments are in the footprint of the ForestGEO plot. The closely monitored trees in the plot provide invaluable context for those investigations of carbon, water, and other ecosystem fundamentals, particularly as large swaths of the forest change due to the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Harvard Forest has one of the first temperate sites to be added to the ForestGEO observatory. Ours is the largest site of its kind in North America.

Plot data is publicly available online and has been used for spatial analyses, remote sensing and Lidar studies, forest modelling studies, and in synthesis studies of large plots worldwide.

See Related Publications.