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. Sampling at the SERC NEON site was facilitated by Jim Coloso at NEON and Ashley Landes, field technician. Seed traps were installed at nine of the NEON plots.

Plot 9

Plot 1 lies between an open crop field and the Chesapeake Bay. This open hardwood stand is dominated by Liquidambar styraciflua and Liriodendron tulipfera, with Acer spp., Ulmus spp., Microstegium and vines.

Plot 9 is an old growth mixed hardwood stand located on a hillslope. This stand is dominated by large L. tulipfera, Carya tomentosa, Fagus grandifolia, Sassafras spp. and Nyssa sylvatica. Large canopy gaps are associated with recent treefalls.

Plot 21 is located in a riparian bottomland adjacent to a creek. This semi open stand is dominated by large L. tulipfera. and a mid story of F. grandifolia, not yet mature.

Plot 2 is downstream from plot 21. The understory is a dense thicket of Lindera benzoin and Berberis thunbergii. Quercus alba and L. tulipfera occupy the open canopy.

Thicket of Lindera benzoin at plot 2.

Plot 6 is an open stand beside Chesapeake Bay dominated by L. tulipfera, Prunus serotina and Quercus spp. It has a dense ground cover 1-m tall L. benzoin.  Dense lianas include Vitis spp., Parthenocissus quinquefolia, andToxicodendron radicans that extend into the canopy.

Plot 3 is in a bottomland near a large hay field. The canopy is sparse, dominated by L. styraciflua with a few F. grandifolia and N. sylvatica trees. The gaps in the canopy have allowed a dense growth of brambles and Microstegium, that have formed mounds on top of engulfed trees in the center of the plot.

Plot 16 occupies a hillslope near the same field. The canopy is dominated by L. styraciflua and L. tulipfera. With the exception of L. styraciflua seedlings that receive filtered light through a small canopy gap on the east side of the plot that understory is sparse.

Plot 10

Plot 10 includes large L. tulipfera trees with intermediate L. styraciflua trees. The under story has dense briar patches.

Plot 22 occupies a knoll in the middle of a gap.  The site is dominated by mature Ailanthus altissima and Sassafrass sp. The under story is a tangle of downed trees, briars, L. benzoin and A. altissima seedlings.

SERC Plot 1
SERC Plot 2
SERC Plot 3
SERC Plot 6
SERC Plot 9
SERC Plot 10
SERC Plot 16
SERC Plot 21
SERC Plot 22

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.

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.

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.

Our Partners

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