Example of a litterfall collector at Harvard Forest LTER, located near the base of an eddy covariance tower. Ecologists measure litterfall mass by placing containers of a known size, typically lined with screen mesh, in the forest, and then collecting whatever falls into the basket at routine intervals. Back in the lab, they then sort this material into various components, which they then oven-dry and weigh. Mesh lining helps drain litter faster, reducing mass loss that can occur in the field.


Example of a litterfall collector at Harvard Forest LTER. Plastic buckets and laundry baskets are commonly used to collect litterfall in forest ecosystems.


Middle school students collect data for their class’s phenology research study, “Buds, Leaves, and Global Warming” in the Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology Program.

David Basler Releases Drone

Postdoctoral fellow David Basler releases his drone from the top of Harvard Forest’s walk-up tower.

Soil Warming Plots

The soil warming plots at Harvard Forest viewed from atop an adjacent research tower. Audrey Barker Plotkin- Harvard Forest Archives

Hemlock Forest Near Tower

The hemlock forest, as seen from the Woods Road to the tower. David R. Foster- Harvard Forest Archives

Research Towers at Harvard Forest

Photo shows the NEON and EMS towers as viewed from the Harvard Forest walk-up tower. David R. Foster- Harvard Forest Archives

Harvard Forest REUs

REU students Saloni Shah and Emilio Arias look at a tree map to find the correct trees to measure with mentor Audrey Barker Plotkin for the project: “Shifting dominance of red maple and red oak”. Harvard Forest Archives: Sarah Plisinski CC BY-ND