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MMSF AmeriFlux Tower

tower view
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Following unsuccessful attempts in farming the steep ridges and ravines in Morgan and Monroe Counties, the State of Indiana purchased 24,000 acres of the eroded land to create Morgan-Monroe State Forest (MMSF). The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and Indiana University established a long-term agreement to operate an AmeriFlux tower in the MMSF. The tower became operational in February 1998. Many of the trees established in the 1930s in the tower footprint have survived selective logging. The forest is a secondary successional broadleaf forest within the maple-beech to oak-hickory transition zone of the eastern deciduous forest. At 48 meters tall, the AmeriFlux tower rises above the 27-meter forest canopy.

The core of the MMSF AmeriFlux project is a joint assessment of the role of this forest ecosystem as a net carbon sink by micrometeorological (eddy-flux, EC) and biometric (carbon-pool increments) methods. The site regularly collects data about CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and the forest, as well as many other variables necessary for understanding of carbon dynamics in deciduous forests.

The site is part of the AmeriFlux and FLUXNET networks of sites and regularly contributes data to both AmeriFlux and FLUXNET databases. These data, and the published analyses derived from them, are increasingly used by network-wide synthesis activities to assess, model, or up-scale biosphere-atmosphere exchange of carbon on regional to global scales. The research has been supported by the Department of Energy (DOE).

Main long-term research questions are:

  • What is the magnitude of net ecosystem productivity at MMSF? Are there long-term trends of net ecosystem productivity and its components, gross ecosystem production, and ecosystem respiration?
  • How does the inter-annual variability of climate influence net ecosystem productivity at MMSF?
  • How will forest productivity and species distribution change as a result of climate change?

For more details about the MMSF AmeriFlux tower and site, visit MMSF AmeriFlux Web page.

Quick Facts

Driving time from campus: 40 min. Date Acquired by IU: The site became operational in February 1998 after the establishment of a long-term agreement between Indiana University and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Nearby Public Land: IDNR Morgan-Monroe State Forest Current Land Use: Forest reserve
Land Forms: Ridge/ravines,slight general slope, non-glaciated
Vegetation: Mixed hardwood deciduous forest (dominent species: sugar maple [Acer saccharum], tulip poplar [Liriodendron tulipifera], sassafras [Sassafras albidium], white oak [Quercus alba], black oak [Quercus nigra])
Geology: Mesic typic, Dystrochrept. Clay, loam, well drained formed in loess and residuum from limestone
Access: The AmeriFlux tower is not accessible to the public.

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Relevant Publications
  • Schmid, H.P., Grimmond, C.S.B., Cropley, F., Offerle, B. and Su, H.B. 2000. Measurements of CO2 and energy fluxes over a mixed hardwood forest in the mid-western United States. Agric. For. Meteorol., 103(4): 357-374.
  • K.K. Caylor, D. Dragoni. Decoupling structural and environmental determinants of sap velocity: Part I - Methodological development. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology - doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2008.10.006
  • D. Dragoni, K.K. Caylor, H.P. Schmid. Decoupling structural and environmental determinants of sap velocity: Part II - Observational application. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology - doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2008.10.010
  • Ollinger, S.V., Richardson, A.D., Martin, M.E., Hollinger, D.Y., Frolking, S.E., Reich, P.B., Plourde, L.C., Katul, G.G., Munger, J.W., Oren, A.D., Smith, M.-L., Paw U, K.T., Bolstad, P.V., Cook, B.D., Day, M.C., Martin, T.A., Monson, R.K., Schmid, H.P. 2008. Canopy nitrogen, carbon assimilation, and albedo in temperate and boreal forests: Functional relations and potential climate feedbacks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105:49 19336-19341.
  • Sims, D.A., Rahmon, A.F., Cordova, V.D., El-Masri, B.Z., Baldocchi, D.D., Bolstad, P.V., Flanagan, L.B., Goldstein, A.H., Hollinger, D.Y., Misson, L.P., Wofsy, S.C., Xu, L. 2008. A new model of gross primary productivity for North America ecosystems based solely on the enhanced vegetation index and land surface temperature from MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment 112:4. 1633-1646.
  • Su, H.B., Schmid, H.P., Grimmond, C.S.B., Vogel, C.S., Curtis, P.S. 2008. An assessment of observed vertical flux divergence in long-term eddy-covariance measurements over two Midwestern forest ecosystems. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 148:2. 186-205.
  • Dragoni, D., Schmid, H.P., Grimmond, C.S.B., Loescher, H.W. 2007. Uncertainty of annual net ecosystem productivity estimated using eddy covariance flux measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 112.
  • Wayson, C.A., Randolph, J.C., Hanson, P.J., Grimmond, C.S.B. and Schmid, H.P. 2006. Comparison of soil respiration methods in a mid-latitude deciduous forest. Biogeochemistry, 80(2): 173-189.

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Revised: August 24, 2009

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