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Lilly-Dickey Woods Forest Dynamics Plot

Dan Johnson
PhD candidate Daniel Johnson measures the diameter of a white ash. IU's involvement with the Smithsonian's global forest research network evolved from Johnson's research at the IU Research and Teaching Preserve's Lilly-Dickey Woods. [Read IU news release]
A large area of LDW (25 hectares) has been established as a long-term forest research area. Following the methodology that is utilized by the Smithsonian Institute's Center for Tropical Forest Science network of 40 plots (, we have produced a dataset directly comparable to forests worldwide. We are initially interested in gaining a better understanding of natural tree regeneration dynamics and carbon storage in this old-growth chestnut oak forest. The largest canopy trees are approximately 150 years old. The long-term measurements of this area will greatly add to our understanding of the successional dynamics of this region. Our data include 35 species and over 29,000 stems for woody species > 1cm in diameter at breast height. If you would like more information on this project, please contact Rich Phillips or Keith Clay through the IURTP e-mail address

Below is the stem map of the 25-hectare IU Forest Dynamics Plot at Lilly-Dickey Woods. All stems are color coded by species and the point is scaled by the stem diameter. The surveyed area of the forest is dominated by oak species (red hues) in the canopy layer of trees. The understory is dominated by sugar maple (maple species are represented by green hues). Note the concentration of nearly 3500 pawpaws in the north central area of the plot that have filled in a gap left behind by several large oak trees falling over.

trees found on the 25-hectare plot

Revised: May 8, 2013

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