December 16, 2017

Edge Effects Project

Eric Keeling, SUNY New Paltz,

Why include both edge and interior plots in an EREN PFPP site?

1. Edge plots are easy to add to an existing PFPP site.
a. Including both edge and interior plots in a PFPP site is already built into the current PFPP protocols, so adding an edge/interior component to existing PFPP activities does not add significant time or work other than what is needed to add extra plots to an existing site. No new field techniques or new types of data collection are necessary.

2. Edge plots add educational value to EREN PFPP studies.
a. Comparing edge and interior plots provides an opportunity for students to test simple hypotheses about differences in community composition and do statistical analyses without the need for additional sites.
b. The topic of edge effects is included in standard ecology textbooks in chapters on landscape ecology (eg. Smith & Smith 8th ed., CH 20). So students will be able to relate the EREN field activities to ecological concepts learned in the classroom.

3. Sites with both edge and interior plots will increase publication opportunities.
a. The study of forest edge effects is currently an important topic in ecological research. However, there are few studies with multiple sites that use the same protocols. Including edge and interior plots may provide more meaningful data and publication possibilities for the broader EREN PFPP research effort than just interior plots (see research questions and timeline to publication below).
More Information:
For complete Edge Effects sub-project protocols and background information as of 6/19/14, please download the file EREN PFPP Edge Effects Study.

Edge Effects supplemental data (template).

For up-to-date files and data, please request access to shared files by emailing Eric Keeling at