Background on Friday’s NAS Wolf talk on forest plots

Prof. Amy Wolf of Natural and Applied Sciences has titled her talk “A Global Approach to Understanding Forest Dynamics: The Smithsonian Institution’s International Network of Forest Dynamic Plots” for the next NAS Seminar Series event at 3:30 p.m. this Friday (March 8) in ES 328.

In 1980, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and Princeton University established an ambitious 124-acre forest research plot on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, initiating what has become one of the world’s most productive global forest ecology projects. Researchers measured and mapped every freestanding tree and shrub (approximately 240,000), and the census has been repeated at five-year intervals. More than 35 additional forest dynamics plots were added elsewhere in the tropics and subtropics since the late 1980s. Recently, this research network has expanded to the temperate zone. One of the first temperate forest plots was established by UW-Green Bay ecologists in 2007 near Wabikon Lake in Forest County, Wisconsin, with funding from the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the Smithsonian Institution.

Wolf will describe general findings and some of the recent collaborations involving the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot. At least 60 UW-Green Bay students have contributed to research at the site, and this number is guaranteed to grow as ongoing research explores new ideas, approaches, and international collaborations in forest ecology. More.

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