Niwot Ridge (NIWO)

Niwot Ridge is an LTER site administered through University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)at their Mountain Research Station.  NEON sites extend from P. contorta and subalpine spruce-fir to above treeline.

The elevations of our studies occupy glacial till soils, with sand/silt to boulders, much of it weathered from gneiss bedrock.  Our sampling was facilitated by Bill Bowman, the director of INSTAAR.

The sparse canopy at plot 1 is dominated by P. contorta, mostly serotinous, with scattered Picea engelmannii, and A. lasiocarpa.  There is limited P. contorta recruitment in the stand, and to a lesser degree, P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa.  Vaccinium dominates the understory.

Plot 2 supports a P. contorta canopy, almost entirely serotinous.  There is some P. contorta recruitment. Vaccinium dominates the understory.  Soils are relatively deep for this site, with scattered bedrock outcrops.  Seed traps were installed, but the tree census is delayed until 2019.

Plot 5 is an open stand on a rocky slope with shallow soils, dominated by P. engelmannii, A. lasiocarpa, with some P. flexilis.  P. flexilis were reproductive in the past, evidenced by cones on the ground, but not currently.  There is some recruitment of P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa. Vaccinium is abundant. Six seed traps were installed.  Diameters were taken on S and W blocks.  Cone counts were completed on new trees and on NEON-censused trees.

Plot 7 is near a bottomland, with somewhat deeper soils.  It supports dense P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa, with scattered P. contorta and a few P. flexilis. The understory supports some P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarparecruitment.

Plot 9 is dominated by P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa, with some P. flexilisthat are no longer reproductive. The understory is dominated by Vacciniumand supports P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa recruitment. Seed traps were installed, but the tree census is delayed until 2019.

Plot 10 is dominated by P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarpa, with some P. flexilist hat are no longer reproductive.  There is P. engelmannii and A. lasiocarparecruitment in an understory that also includes Vaccinium.

NIWO Plot 1
NIWO Plot 2
NIWO Plot 5
NIWO Plot 7
NIWO Plot 9
NIWO Plot 10

Field Researchers

Don't miss these other field sites:

Soaproot Saddle (SOAP)

Soaproot Saddle is part of the Sierra National Forest and managed by the Forest Service. Jessica Bolis, NEON domain manager, facilitated access to the plots.

Wind River Experimental Forest (WREF)

The Wind River Experimental Forest, north of the Columbia River River Gorge and part of Gifford Pinchot National Forest, has been studied by the USFS since 1908.

Yellowstone (YELL)

Parent materials combine a history of volcanism, faulting, and glaciation. The park remains seismically active, with frequent earthquakes and many hydrothermal features. Vegetation includes a mosaic of forest, sagebrush-steppe and riparian bottomlands.

Treehaven (TREE)

The 560-ha Treehaven Forest lies within the northern Great Lakes region south of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Operated by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, this site focuses on natural resource education.

Bartlett Forest (BART)

Bartlett Experimental Forest (BART), located in the White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire, is managed as the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station.

Harvard Forest (HARV)

Sampling at Harvard Forest includes long term plots established by our lab in 2012 and new efforts located at NEON plots.

Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS)

Mountain Lake Biological Station is located in the Southern Appalachians of Southwest Virginia. This field site is administered through the University of Virginia. The NEON plots extend from mixed decidious forests to pine plantations.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is located south of Annapolis, MA. Formally farmland, this coastal plain forest sits on the western shore of the Chesapeake bay. The 1070-ha site is operated by the Smithsonian Institute.

Talladega National Forest (TALL)

The Talladega NEON site is located within the Oakmulgee Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest. This rolling terrain is part of the Fall Line Hills of the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain. In the 1800’s this area was heavily logged, but since the 1980’s the Forest Service has worked on restoring this area back to the Longleaf Savannah ecosystem.

Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS)

The University of Florida hosts the NEON OSBS site at their Ordway-Swisher Biological Station in north-central Florida. Andrew Rappe, the Assistant Director, gave us an orientation to the site.

Disney Wilderness Preserve (DSNY)

Formerly ranchland, the Disney Wilderness Preserve has been restored to Pine savanna under ownership of The Nature Conservancy. Previously, most of the preserve consisted of flatwoods open to cattle and excluded from fire.

Our Partners

PBGJAM is a collaborative project with financial and logistical support from the following partners