Forests are important.
Forests clean our water, air, moderate local climate and provide pollution abatement and wildlife management.
Here is a glimpse at our small, but valuable forest;
what we are studying in it, and what it's doing for us.
Click to show/hide info
Welcome to South Forest.

These points on the map represent individual trees with dendrometers on them; a narrow band of metal containing a spring that creates a measurable gap as the tree grows.

Click on points to see individuals' growth and to learn more about each tree.

See below for other map layers, including unique species that were only found once in our sampling plots, the sampling plots which show the areas that we studied, and an overlay of the entire forest area.

Don't forget to click on map elements to learn more!
Species can tell us a lot about a forest.

Here is a graph of the species in South Forest, ranked in order of their relative abundance.

With rank-abundance graphs, we can learn which species are most dominant and how diverse the forest is. When this line in long and even, we say a forest is more diverse. A shorter line, with fewer tree species, and a steeper slope, with a greater disparity in abundance of those species, indicates low diversity.
0 The Edge 0

Total trees: 222
Number of Species: 21

Unique Species:
American elm
Chestnut Oak
Quaking Aspen
Shagbark Hickory
Swamp Oak
White Ash
White Oak
0 The Interior 0

Total Trees: 137
Number of Species: 13

Unique Species:
Bigtooth Aspen
Pignut Hickory

The average person will emit
5 tons
of carbon per year.
There is a present global need to reduce the rate of increase of atmospheric carbon.
How we manage forests is important for this.

The world's forests are estimated to be a carbon sink of
2 Gigatons
of carbon per year.
(2,000,000,000 tons)

Our forest contains around
3000 tons
of carbon in the above ground biomass of its trees.
Where is the Carbon?

When we look at the number and size of all of the tree species we've sampled in the forest, we can look at which species' account for the most carbon.

This is calculated from their Above Ground Biomass; the biomass stored in the trunk, crown and every above ground part of the tree.

Which species' presently hold the most carbon?
Edge Effects

Human land use is increasing the amound of edge area in forests.
We can study what effects this might have on carbon storage and species composition in forests.

Here are charts representing the carbon, tree density and basal area of the edge and interior of the forest.

The Carbon compared here is a measure of the mass of carbon in the above ground biomass of trees per area of forest.
The Density shows the amount of trees per unit area of forest. Which plot has more tree density?
The Basal Area is a measure of what fraction of forest floor area is covered by trees.
Looking Back.
We've been monitoring our forest for a while.
Here is what we've collected since 1972.

From our data, the American Beech has consistently remained the dominant species since 1972.

Now that you've seen tree density and basal area in the edge effects, let's look at how they've changed over time.
Do you see a trend?
Aerial Imagery

We've collected these aerial photos of the forest from as far back as 1958. There are visible changes in how land use has changed the forest area over time.
G. Simard-Moore
E. Keeling
J. Simons