Harvard Forest LTER - Project Overview

Location North-central Massachusetts 42.5°N Latitude; 72°W Longitude Land Base Petersham, MA: 1200 ha across 3 major tracts Prospect Hill Tom Swamp Slab City Plus 2 smaller tracts (Schwarz Tract and Simes Tract) Royalston, MA: 28 ha Tall Timbers Tract Hamilton, MA: 40 ha Matthews Plantation Winchester, NH: 10 ha Pisgah Tract, which is part of the 5000 ha Pisgah State Forest Climate Cool, moist temperate July mean temperature 20°C January mean temperature -7°C Annual mean precipitation 110 cm, distributed fairly evenly throughout the year Physiography New England Upland Region Elevation: 220m to 410m above sea level Bedrock: granite, gneiss and schist Soils Mainly sandy loam glacial till, with some alluvial and colluvial deposits Moderately to well drained in most areas Acidic Average depth 3 m Vegetation Transition Hardwood - White Pine - Hemlock Region Dominant species: Red oak (Quercus rubra) Red maple (Acer rubrum) Black birch (Betula lenta) White pine (Pinus strobus) Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) Species found on drier soils: White oak (Quercus alba) Black oak (Quercus velutina) Hickory (Carya ovata) Chestnut (Castanea dentata), now only found in understory because of chestnut blight On moist, cool, but well-drained sites: Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) Beech (Fagus grandifolia) Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) White ash (Fraxinus americana) Hemlock White pine In peatlands: Red spruce (Picea rubens) Black spruce (Picea mariana) Larch (Larix laricina) Plantations: Conifer plantations cover about 7% of Harvard Forest land


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