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Tree Ring Data from Rooster Hill in Adirondack State Park NY 1828-2015

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  • Lead: Neil Pederson
  • Investigators: Daniel Bishop, Javier Martin Fernandez, Tessa Mandra
  • Contact: Information Manager
  • Start date: 1828
  • End date: 2015
  • Status: complete
  • Location: Adirondack Mountains NY
  • Latitude: 43.23 degrees
  • Longitude: -74.52 degrees
  • Elevation: 598 meter
  • Datum: WGS84
  • Taxa: Acer rubrum (red maple), Betula papyrifera (paper birch), Fagus grandifolia (american beech), Picea rubens (red spruce), Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), Prunus serotina (black cherry), Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
  • Release date: 2023
  • Language: English
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.411.4
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • EDI: data package
  • DataONE: data package
  • Related links:
  • Study type: long-term measurement, historical, paleological
  • Research topic: forest-atmosphere exchange; historical and retrospective studies; large experiments and permanent plot studies
  • LTER core area: primary production, population studies, disturbance patterns
  • Keywords: climate change, community composition, defoliation, dendrochronology, disturbance, net primary production, permanent plots, tree rings
  • Abstract:

    Is it possible to reconstruct aboveground carbon/biomass from tree rings? If so, how far back in time can researchers go when using tree-ring data in the reconstruction of past biomass? Answers to these questions will have a significant impact on our understanding of dynamics in the terrestrial carbon sink. Long tree-ring records of biomass can reveal intra-annual to annual to multidecadal variations that cannot be resolved by forest census data that is not conducted at annual time steps. Additionally, while these dynamics might be resolved using remote sensing, most remotely-sensed products are only two decades or less in length. By having long records of carbon biomass, we can then identify not only the dominant drivers of biomass, but how the importance of these drivers might change during different eras as environmental factors change (e.g., climate, air pollution, disturbance).

    To test these and other questions, we collected tree-ring records from two 30m radius plots set Rooster Hill in New York State. We chose this location because it has oak dominated mixed forests that can be compared to the long-term forests being studied for carbon dynamics at the Harvard Forest. We can convert these data to biomass using allometric equations and compare tree-ring inferred aboveground biomass to the census data going back in time to understand forest recovery and carbon dynamics in a heavily disturbance forest.

  • Methods:

    Vegetation and tree-ring data

    Vegetation and tree-ring data associated with this dataset were collected by the “PalEON Protocol”. Three plots were established in the EMS Plot where all trees greater than 10 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) in a 13 m radius were mapped (using distance and azimuth from plot center), measured for DBH, placed into canopy strata (dominant, co-dominant, intermediate, and suppressed, life status (live or dead), structural position if dead (snag, log, or stump hole), and cored. Two to three cores were removed from all trees sampled, live or dead, when possible; some were too rotten to core. Decay classes were determined for all deadwood (1 = recent to 5 = nearly soil) following Bunnell and Houde (Bunnell, F.L. and Houde, I., 2010, Down wood and biodiversity--implications to forest practices, Environmental Reviews, 18, pp.397-421) and surveys were made of saplings (all stems 2.5-4.99 cm DBH from plot center out to 5 m) and poles (all stems 5-9.99 in DBH from plot center out to 9 m). This protocol was repeated for 13-20 m from plot center, but only for trees greater than 20 cm DBH, to increase representation and possibly sample a higher proportion of old trees. Tree-ring measurements were taken from all usable cores and portions of usable cores for each plot. Some cores had too much rot or other issues to be useful. The occurrence of a missing or locally absent ring, where a tree did not fully form a ring on the side of the tree that was cored, is designated with a zero.

    Tree-ring file formats

    Data are provided in both traditional Tucson and csv formats. Tucson files are organized by species where the species code is the first two letters of the genus plus the first two letters of the species. Tuscon files contain total raw ring width (.rwl), earlywood ring width (.ewr), or latewood ring width (.lwr). Tucson data can be read as a space-delimited file in most coding languages. In R, package dplR has built-in function read.rwl that converts .rwl files to a data frame (rows become years; columns become ring-width series). For more information on the Tucson data format, please see: Brewer, P.W., Murphy, D. and Jansma, E., 2011. TRiCYCLE: a universal conversion tool for digital tree-ring data. Tree-Ring Research, 67(2), pp.135-144.

    Notes about the data

    Years were identified where ring coloration and width appeared to indicate that the trees had been defoliated in ways similar to the way Lymantria dispar defoliated trees at the Harvard Forest in 1981. Similar rings had been observed throughout southeastern New York state and in Massachusetts, but had not been seen in the Adirondack Mountains. These observations were recorded for future analysis.

    RH1 Trees 11 and 33 (ACRU) are missing from the ring-width files. The causes of the missing data are accounted for in the “comments” column of the field notes file (hf411-02-tp-core.csv).

    RH2 Tree 99 (ACRU) was unaccounted for after fieldwork.

  • Organization: Harvard Forest. 324 North Main Street, Petersham, MA 01366, USA. Phone (978) 724-3302. Fax (978) 724-3595.

  • Project: The Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program examines ecological dynamics in the New England region resulting from natural disturbances, environmental change, and human impacts. (ROR).

  • Funding: National Science Foundation LTER grants: DEB-8811764, DEB-9411975, DEB-0080592, DEB-0620443, DEB-1237491, DEB-1832210.

  • Use: This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (No Rights Reserved). Please keep the dataset creators informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset should include proper acknowledgement.

  • License: Creative Commons Zero v1.0 Universal (CC0-1.0)

  • Citation: Pederson N. 2023. Tree Ring Data from Rooster Hill in Adirondack State Park NY 1828-2015. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF411 (v.4). Environmental Data Initiative:

Detailed Metadata

hf411-01: trees

  1. site: site and plot identifier
    • TP1: Rooster Hill Plot 1 (Plot center at 43.23138 N, -74.52254 W)
    • TP2: Rooster Hill Plot 2 (Plot center at 43.23090 N, -74.52666 W)
  2. tree: tree number
  3. species: species
    • ACRU: Acer rubrum
    • BEPA: Betula papyrifera
    • FAGR: Fagus grandifolia
    • PCRU: Picea rubens
    • PIST: Pinus strobus
    • PRSE: Prunus serotina
    • QURU: Quercus rubra
  4. date: date of sampling
  5. canopy: canopy position
    • codominant: codominant
    • dominant: dominant
    • intermediate: intermediate
    • suppressed: suppressed
  6. status: alive, dead or non-standing tree position
    • dead: status is unknown
    • Li: live
    • Lo: log
    • Sh: stump hole
    • Sn: snag
    • St: stump
  7. dbh: diameter at breast height (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
  8. distance: distance from plot center (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  9. azimuth: degrees from due north (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  10. dist_top: distance from center for top of dead log (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
  11. az_top: degrees from due north for top of dead log (unit: degree / missing value: NA)
  12. decay: decay class
    • 1: solid wood, recently fallen, bark and twigs present
    • 2: solid wood, significant weathering, branches present
    • 3: wood not solid, bark may be sloughing but nail still must be pounded into wood
    • 4: wood sloughing and/or friable, nail may be forcibly pushed into wood
    • 5: wood friable, barely holding shape, nail may be easily pushed into wood

hf411-02: core data

  1. site: site and plot identfier
    • TP1: Rooster Hill Plot 1 (Plot center at 43.23138 N, -74.52254 W)
    • TP2: Rooster Hill Plot 2 (Plot center at 43.23090 N, -74.52666 W)
  2. tree: tree number
  3. core: core cardinal direction
    • a: no associated cardinal direction
    • e: east
    • n: north
    • s: south
    • w: west
  4. species: species ID of individual series
    • ACRU: Acer rubrum
    • BEPA: Betula papyrifera
    • FAGR: Fagus grandifolia
    • PCRU: Picea rubens
    • PIST: Pinus strobus
    • PRSE: Prunus serotina
    • QURU: Quercus rubra
  5. inner_year: observed innermost year (not always measured)
  6. outer_year: observed outermost year (not always measured)
  7. meas_inner: year of innermost measured ring
  8. meas_outer: year of innermost measured ring
  9. rings: total number of rings measured (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. pith: estimated number of rings from pith or at pith (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  11. gap: location, in dates, when there is an observed gap(s) in mounted cores
  12. missing: list of years with missing rings in series
  13. false: list of years with false rings in series
  14. incomplete: list of years with incomplete/partial rings in series
  15. reaction: list of years with “reaction wood” in series
  16. defoliation: list of years with evidence of possible defoliation in series
  17. canopy: estimated condition of tree during early growth years
    • G: gap
    • N: non-gap
    • U: unknown
  18. comments: core-specific comments

hf411-03: tree ring measurements

  1. site: site
    • RH: Rooster Hill Plot
  2. species: species
    • ACRU: Acer rubrum
    • BEPA: Betula papyrifera
    • FAGR: Fagus grandifolia
    • PCRU: Picea rubens
    • PIST: Pinus strobus
    • PRSE: Prunus serotina
    • QURU: Quercus rubra
  3. core: core number
  4. type: ring measurement type
    • ewr: earlywood ring width
    • lwr: latewood ring width
    • rwl: raw ring width
  5. year: year of ring width
  6. rw: measured ring width (unit: millimeter / missing value: NA)

hf411-04: field notes

  • Compression: none
  • Format: pdf
  • Type: document

hf411-05: PalEON sampling protocol

  • Compression: none
  • Format: pdf
  • Type: document

hf411-06: Tuscon files

  • Compression: zip
  • Format: Tuscon ring data
  • Type: document

hf411-07: R script to convert Tucson files

  • Compression: none
  • Format: R script
  • Type: script