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Harvard Forest Data Archive
Visual Counts of Tree Reproduction near NEON plots at Harvard Forest since 2020Related Publications
- Lead: Jalene LaMontagne
- Investigators: Jessica Barton
- Contact: Information Manager
- Start date: 2020
- End date: 2020
- Status: ongoing
- Location: Prospect Hill Tract (Harvard Forest)
- Latitude: +42.536
- Longitude: -72.178
- Elevation: 367 meter
- Taxa: Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, Picea abies, Pinus strobus, Quercus rubra, Quercus velutina, Tsuga canadensis
- Release date: 2023
- EML file: knb-lter-hfr.432.2
- DOI: digital object identifier
- EDI: data package
- DataONE: data package
- Related links:
- Study type: short-term measurements
- Research topic: physiological ecology, population dynamics and species interactions
- LTER core area: primary production, populations
- Keywords: forest dynamics, masting, reproduction, seed production, trees
Mast seeding, a resource pulse that has cascading effects in the environment, is a measure that can provide insight into forest dynamics. When masting data is collected in sequential years it can provide information on how tree populations are responding to climatic and environmental variables, and can also be used to relate to other indices, such as seed-eating animal species. The objective of this study is to quantify the yearly seed production of mast seeding tree species at Harvard Forest which are located near National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) plots. This project is part of larger NEON-enabled project examining mast seeding on a continental scale at 25 NEON sites in the United States, which uses mast seeding records in conjunction with NEON collected data products like mammal box-trapping, tick drags, and bird point counts. Data collected on mast seeding can be linked to these other indices at regional and continental scales.
Study site location selection
The study site location was chosen due to its proximity to the NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network) tower location, and other sampling locations, such as small mammal, bird, and tick data collection locations. Trees just off the roadside were sampled after a selected stretch of road where several target species was established. Sampling consists of walking down the road one way and selecting roadside trees to sample from on one side of the road, and turning back in the other direction to sample from roadside trees on the opposite side of the road.
Reproductive counts are conducted when reproductive structures are near-mature (mid to late summer; i.e., July/August). Individual trees were selected if the full crown was visible from a stationary position on the ground, and if DBH was ≥ 10 cm. Depending on the species, one of two count methods were applied. In both methods, the data collector stood in a stationary position, and counted, with binoculars, the number of reproductive structures visible. Method 1 (described below) is used for almost all conifer tree species, and is a full count of the reproductive structures that are visible. Method 2 (described below) is used for mostly deciduous tree species, and uses timed counts as well as a total estimate of the visible reproductive structures.
The total number of visible reproductive structures on a tree were counted and recorded with this method.
With this method, two timed counts of 30 seconds each were conducted. In each of the timed counts, two different areas of the tree were scanned. After timed counts, total estimates were recorded, which consists of a quick scan of the tree, estimating the total number of visible reproductive structures.
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.
LaMontagne J. 2023. Visual Counts of Tree Reproduction near NEON plots at Harvard Forest since 2020. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF432 (v.2). Environmental Data Initiative: https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/481e4cb07285a4477e96c17685fb9a4e.
hf432-01: tree reproductive structure data
- species: scientific name of the tree species sampled
- species_code: 4-letter code of tree species sampled
- sp_n: identifier for individual trees; may be the four letter species code, or an abbreviated code (for Picea abies the code may be PIAB-1 or PA-1); these are not unique identifiers, e.g. Picea abies may be PA-1 at multiple sites within the same year; these are not meant to be individual identifiers from year to year, individuals are not tagged and individual reproduction data is not available
- coordinate_lat: GPS latitude coordinate for individual tree sampled; GPS coordinates may not be available for all individuals <96> protocol only requires GPS coordinates of sampling boundaries (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
- coordinate_lon: GPS longitude coordinate for individual tree sampled. GPS coordinates may not be available for all individuals <96> protocol only requires GPS coordinates of sampling boundaries (unit: meter / missing value: NA)
- dbh: tree diameter at breast height (unit: centimeter / missing value: NA)
- method1_fullcount: full count of tree reproductive structures for trees which count method 1 was used (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
- method2_timedcount1: timed count 1 for trees which count method 2 was used (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
- method2_timedcount2: timed count 2 for trees which count method 2 was used (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
- method2_totalestimate: total estimate for trees which count method 2 was used (unit: dimensionless / missing value: NA)
- comments: any relevant comments on individual tree sampled