Yellowstone (YELL)

Annie Carlson assisted with permitting and background advice.

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.  At high elevations sub-alpine Pinus albicaulis, Pinus flexilis, Picea engelmannii, and Abies lasiocarpatransition to alpine habitats.  Forests are dominated by Pinus contortaand Pseudotsuga menzeisiithroughout much of the part.  Our sampling was focused on NEON plots at low elevations in the northern portion of the park, those supporting forests.

Grizzly bears are omnivores, this one digging for roots and/or invertebrates

Annie Carlson, Research Coordinator for Yellowstone NP facilitated our sampling efforts, including on-site consultations. Amy Jacobs manages NEON operations for this domain and provided guidance on logistics and sampling.

Plot 7 is a bison hangout.

Plot 07 is an oasis of Pseudotsuga menzeisiion a mountainside, surrounded by sagebrush steppe, with grasses in the understory. Bison frequent the site, possibly maintaining the grass understory. Residual charred boles indicate that the surrounding steppe replaced forest decades ago.  There are some Pinus contorta and browsed Populus seedlings in surrounding steppe. Most of the 2018 cone crop (on trees) have started to open by sampling time.

Some lodgepole cones had opened, but still held seed.

Plot 20 is a 30-yr old even age Pinus contortastand dating from the 1988 burn. Cones are mostly closed, some just starting to open. The understory is grass, with no tree recruitment.  This site is not yet included in maps below.

Chipmunks, ground squirrels, and songbirds consume conifer seeds.

Plot 23 is an open Pseudotsuga menzeisiistand with snapped large trees and clumped recruitment. Pinus contorta is present but not abundant. The site burned 30 yrs ago in the 1988 fire. In additional to patchy recruitment, the understory includes sagebrush and grasses.

Plot 26 supports a sparse Pseudotsuga menzeisii canopy above patchy recruitment scattered Pinus contorta. There is substantial damage to tree crowns, especially the large Pseudotsuga menzeisii. The grass understory is littered with large tree boles.

YELL Plot 7
YELL Plot 23
YELL Plot 26

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.

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.

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