Dataset Overview

Wind disturbance profoundly shapes temperate forests but few studies have evaluated patterns and mechanisms of long-term forest dynamics following major windthrows. In 1990, a large hurricane simulation experiment was initaited in a 0.8 ha manipulation (pulldown) and 0.6 ha control area of a maturing Quercus rubra/Acer rubrum forest in New England. 276 trees were toppled in the pulldown, using a winch and cable, in the Northwesterly direction of natural treefall from major hurricanes. Eighty percent of canopy trees and two-thirds of all trees greater than 5 cm dbh suffered direct and indirect damage. Twenty years of measurements were used to evaluate the trajectory and mechanisms of forest response after intense disturbance. Based on the patch size and disturbance magnitude, we expected pioneer tree and understory species to drive succession.

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To study how wind disturbance shapes temperate forests following major windthrows over time.

Data Collection Status

Data collection for this dataset is ongoing

Start date


Data Availability

This dataset is available to download from another website

Data License

Linked - Third party determines data license

Preferred Citation

Foster D, Barker Plotkin A. 2016. Vegetation Response in Simulated Hurricane Experiment at Harvard Forest since 1990. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF002. Available at:

Update Frequency


Maintenance Plan

Not provided


  • Vegetation Response in Simulated Hurricane Experiment at Harvard Forest since 1990
  • Harvard Forest
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