Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The SERC Forest Dynamics Plot is located at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, adjacent to a sub-estuary of the Chesapeake Bay on the US coastal plain. The square 16.0 ha plot is dominated by mature secondary upland forest but is bisected with a section of floodplain forests, both around 120 years since initiation. The upland forest is an example of the “tulip poplar” association with an overstory dominated by tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), several oaks (Quercus spp.), beech (Fagus grandifolia), several hickories (Carya spp.) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua); a mid-canopy of red maple (Acer rubrum) and sour gum (Nyssa sylvatica); and an understory composed of American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and paw-paw (Asimina triloba). The flood plain forest is dominated by ashes (Fraxinus spp.), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), and American elm (Ulmus americana). The forest is rather tall (to as high as 40 m) and has a high richness for this part of the temperate zone, with more than 71. Installation of the plot began in September 2007 and the first census was completed in 2011. The second census began and was completed in 2014.