December 16, 2017

Permanent Forest Plot Project

Karen Kuers, University of the South – Sewanee,
Erin Lindquist, Meredith College,

Initiated: 2012

The goal of this project is to establish a set of permanent research plots throughout the United States and Canada that will allow faculty and students to address questions related to tree biomass, carbon accumulation, invasive species, and disturbance patterns across a range of sites and ecoregions.

Project participants will establish one or more permanent, 400 m² plots (20 x 20 meters) in forested areas at or near their home institutions. The protocols have been designed with the goal that work can be conducted as part of a normal class laboratory or as part of student independent research projects. All trees within the measurement plots will be identified and their diameters’ measured. Additional plot and tree data will be recorded as well. Tree diameters will be remeasured over time to calculate growth, mortality, biomass, and carbon sequestration. Data will be entered in an online database that will then be accessible to all participants. One or more educational modules will be developed for use with the database so that faculty can utilize the dataset with students in their classes.

Key to the success of this project is that all researchers will use the same protocols so that all data are comparable. Anyone who is interested in following the protocol and adhering to EREN’s Data Sharing Policy is encouraged to participate in this collaborative project by setting up their own sites and contributing to the online database.

PFPP Potential Research questions, tips for plot selection, and more

PFPP Protocols and Datasheets (Note: The most recent version of the Protocols is version 1.06, posted Aug 24, 2014.)

Teacher Resources (including Class Activities, Student Learning Outcomes, Logistics)

New in 2016: Forest Species Composition Activity 

View the list of PFPP Participating Institutions (Registered PFPP Database users will have access to a list of participating researchers at each institution, along with their research interests and the number of plots installed.)

View the Map of Participating PFPP Institutions (A map of locations that will allow users to upload site photos and information is under construction.)

PFPP Collaborators Page (Curriculum exchange site)
A webpage, set up by Ben Dolan and Jason Kilgore, is now available for faculty to upload and share their teaching ideas and materials.

Other Projects Using PFPP Protocols:
Complementary Vegetation Survey (cVeg)

Emerald Ash Borer Project
Landscape Ecology Project
Edge Effects Project

For more information contact:
Karen Kuers – Sewanee: University of the South or Erin Lindquist – Meredith College

If you are not an EREN member click here to join!

Updated Aug. 17, 2016 by KKuers