November 15, 2013

Tyson Research Center Plot joins CTFS-ForestGEO and expands the network to 52 plots worldwide

Victoria Sork and Jonathan next to a a Pignut Hickory
The Tyson Research Center Plot (TRCP) is the latest plot to join the CTFS-ForestGEO network. It is located ~20 miles from St. Louis, in the relatively understudied Ozark region of the Midwest. It is owned and operated by Washington University and consists primarily of an oak-hickory forest.

TRCP has a unique history.  Two ecologists from the University of Missouri-St. Louis—Dr. Victoria Sork and her Masters student Carol Hampe—were leading a charge to establish a temperate-forest counterpart to the BCI plot in a forest at Tyson Research Center, Missouri, USA. Since 1981, the TRCP has been censused three times. In 1981–1982, Carol Hampe and Victoria Sork conducted the first census of the 4-ha plot. The second census was conducted in 1989 following a record drought year in 1988. Data from both censuses were never published.  In 2010–2012 the Principal Investigator, Dr. Jonathan A. Myers, Department of Biology & Tyson Research Center, Washington University, re-established the project and conducted a third census of the original 4 ha, expanded the plot to 12 ha, and organized the data provided by Sork into a standardized database using the CTFS-ForestGEO format. 

The now 20-ha TRCP represents a key component of the long-term research program at Tyson Research Center and is a valuable addition to the networks temperate and tropical research. TRCP has officially been incorporated into the network and will be providing a uniquely long-term (30-year) data set for the Temperate Forest Program of the CTFS-ForestGEO network. 

Read the feature of Tyson's inclusion into the Smithsonian's survey on climate change.