Field Studies & Model Data Sets

Model Field Sites and Data Sets

We have collected data and metadata from studies conducted by a group of collaborating canopy researchers. We first designed and implemented a field study drawing upon our own project staff (Dr. Bob Van Pelt, assistants, and students). We then invited other researchers who carry out canopy structure/function research to provide us with data they had collected in their own field sites. We used these datasets to generalize our database protocols to accommodate others' data, including design of new database templates in our Databank generator.

Studies represent the research efforts of scientists and the data they generate. The StudyCenter lets users search for studies, download study data and associated metadata, and see sample visualizations (where complete) for studies that researchers have made publicly available.

Below are the studies that comprise our present field databases, with the majority available for download through the StudyCenter:

  1. The "1000 year chronosequence" (1KCS):
    Dr. Bob Van Pelt
    This study focused on structure/function relationships in a sequence of structurally simple to diverse forest plots in the Western Cascades. We established eight plots in which we made measurements of stand-level and within-tree structure and two elements of canopy function: rainfall interception and light interception. The data and metadata were then organized and put into a field database that was designed by our database programmers.
  2. "Air space" in forest canopies:
    Dr. Roman Dial, Alaska Pacific University
    Dr. Dial has quantified the interstices of forests in southeast Alaska, Costa Rica, Sabah, and our study plots in Washington. He has generated three-dimensional images that provide visualizations of the 'counterpart' of structural elements, measurements of open space, using CanopyView. These data relate to such diverse questions as the distribution of traveling space for flying birds, insects, and bats; and the potential pathways for the deposition of rainfall, pollen, pollutants, and seed propagules.
  3. Crown structure and dynamics of Psuedotsuga-Tsuga forests:
    Dr. Roaki Ishii, Hokkaido University
    Dr. Ishii conducted research on crown structure and development of Douglas-fir forests by quantitatively examining stem height and growth increments, branch growth, and epicormic development of 20-, 40- and 450-year-old stands of naturally established coastal Douglas-fir in the Wind River Ranger District, Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwestern Washington State, USA.
  4. Epiphyte distribution of western hemlocks:
    Betsy Lyons, The Nature Conservancy
    Betsy Lyons investigated the distribution of lichen functional groups on hemlock trees of different size classes and explored the relationship between epiphytes and branch and tree characteristics at the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Forest, Wind River, WA.
  5. Three-dimensional canopy structure on canopy surfaces of tulip poplar:
    Dr. Jess Parker, Smithsonian Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    Dr. Parker studied the 3-D canopy structure of four mixed-species, broadleaved forests at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Coastal Plain near Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A.
  6. Dwarf mistletoe infections in tree crowns of western hemlock and true firs:
    Dr. David Shaw, Wind River Canopy Crane Facility
    Dr. Shaw examined the spatial patterns of hemlock dwarf mistletoe in an old-growth Douglas-fir/western hemlock forest. Within a 12 ha stem-mapped plot, dwarf mistletoe ratings were assigned to all hemlocks and true firs, using the Hawksworth 6 Class Dwarf Mistletoe Rating System.
  7. Forest canopy structure of redwood forests:
    Dr. Steve Sillett, Humboldt State University
    Dr. Sillett measured the intricate and complex structural elements within the crowns of very large and very tall coastal Sequoia trees in the old-growth temperate rain forests of Redwoods State Park, CA. His data describe crown architecture, i.e., the number and distributions of branches, and "iterations", replicated trunks within single trees. The current dataset also assesses the distribution and abundance of vascular epiphytes in the tree crowns.
  8. Three dimensional structure of Japanese chestnut:
    Dr. Akihiro Sumida, Hokkaido University
    Dr Sumida investigated the effects of spatial structure on neighborhood competition patterns among hardwood trees. A theodolite equipped with a laser range finder was used to survey tree structure for 10 canopy trees of Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata). For most of the primary branches (stems branching off the main trunk of the chestnut trees), three-dimensional positions of their base, tip, and several turning points of branch direction were measured.