CTFS – ForestGEO in affiliation with Utah State University, the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, and the University of Montana welcomes the Utah Forest Dynamics Plot (UFDP) to the network after its first census completion in September of 2015!
UFDP is a research and educational project located in the subalpine forest of the Colorado Plateau in Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah. The plot was established in the summers of 2014 and 2015 with Jim Lutz of Utah State University as the Principal Investigator (PI). This is the third plot in the Western Forest Initiative, which includes two additional CTFS – ForestGEO plots, the Wind River Forest Dynamics Plot (WFDP) and the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot (YFDP).
The plot is 13.2 ha in extent, with elevations ranging from 3,039 m to 3,169 m, the elevational limit of closed canopy forest at this latitude. The forest is characterized by a mosaic of mixed conifer/aspen forest types with over 22,000 live stems and 4,000 dead stems. The most abundant species are Abies bifolia (subalpine fir), Populus tremuloides (aspen), Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce), Pinus flexilis (limber pine), and Pinus longaeva (bristlecone pine).
Jim Lutz and his team are conducting research on changes to climate and the causes of tree mortality at UFDP. The research projects serve as a platform for education and training for students, biologists, and citizen-scientists through hands-on fieldwork experiences.