Protocols for the tree core census are described in detail by Condit (1998). In brief, every free-standing woody stem>1cm DBH consist is identified to species, mapped, and tagged when it first enters the census within a plot. On each stem, diameter is measured at breast height (1.3 m) or above stem irregularities (Manokaran et al., 1990; Condit, 1998). The census is typically repeated every five years. Database standards and management practices are described in Condit et al. (2014). Analysis of ForestGEO census data is commonly conducted using the CTFS R package, which includes functions to analyze tree abundance, growth, mortality and recruitment rates, biomass, and demographic changes.
Please send requests for the ForestGEO Tree Census Protocol (Condit 1998) to ForestGEO@si.edu if you are unable to download at the link above.