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Drivers of red spruce and balsam fir tree growth in mountains of the Northeastern US

Objectives: To determine how red spruce and balsam fir tree growth is driven by climate and acidic deposition in mountains of the northeastern United States.

Principal Investigator: Jay W. Wason, Colin M. Beier, John J. Battles, Martin Dovciak

Laboratory: SUNY ESF

Recommended Citation: Wason J, Beier C, Battles J, and Dovciak M. 2013. Red spruce and balsam fir tree cores from mountains in the Northeastern United States.

Project Contents: Data for 40 Plots, 246 Trees, 246 Cores

Project Period: 2012-01-01 to 2019-10-09


Data License: cc-zero license logo

What's this?

Description: This project integrates with our broader research on montane spruce-fir forest responses to environmental change. In this project, we collected tree cores from red spruce and balsam fir trees along elevation gradients on 10 mountains across the northeastern US. We analyzed the tree rings to determine the extent to which climate and acidic deposition have driven recent tree growth patterns.

Related Publications: No related publications

Project Metadata

Taxonomic standard used: USDA Plants Database

How plots were selected: Plots were selected from our larger dataset of spruce-fir forest vegetation plots across the region (Wason, J. W., and M. Dovciak. 2017. Tree demography suggests multiple directions and drivers for species range shifts in mountains of Northeastern United States. Global Change Biology 23: 3335–3347.). On 10 mountains, we selected vegetation plots that corresponded to the highest, lowest, and a middle elevation range for canopy sized trees on each mountain.

How trees were selected: At each plot, the first 5 dominant health trees > 20 cm DBH (diameter at breast height) were selected for coring.

Exclusion of trees (if any): Trees that were smaller than 20 cm DBH, unhealthy trees (visual inspection), and trees that were not in a dominant canopy position were not selected for coring.

How cores were collected: Cores were collected at breast height, perpendicular to the elevation contour. Two cores were collected per tree from opposite sides.

How cores were processed: Samples were mounted and sanded. Raw ring widths were measured using a sliding scale micrometer (Velmex, Inc., Bloomfield, NY) and Acu-Rite encoder (Heidenhain 178 Corp., Shaumberg, IL). For cores that did not reach the tree pith, we used a template of concentric circles and the earliest 5 years of growth to estimate the age at breast height.

Exclusion of cores (if any): Cores with a series intercorrelation below 0.4 were removed from the dataset. This excluded 9% of red spruce and 15% of balsam fir trees.

Added to the database: 10/09/2019

Last modified: 10/09/2019

Sample of Plot Data

Up to 10 rows of data are shown below.

Plot ID Latitude Longitude Site Description Crew
Ab1144.121101-72.939580Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Ab0844.122025-72.947541Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Ab0944.121712-72.944842Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Bi1045.152463-70.284468Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Bi1145.149798-70.284890Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Bi0645.160479-70.284221Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Bi0845.155934-70.284052Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Bi0945.154331-70.284172Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Di1044.107275-73.803039Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Di1144.105441-73.801191Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman
Di1244.105356-73.797012Not ProvidedJay Wason, Adam Busman

Sample of Tree Data

Up to 10 rows of data are shown below.

Plot ID Tree ID Species Status Diameter Diameter Units Crown Position Vigor Dieback
Ab11Ab11a1Abies balsameaLive23.4centimeterDominant1
Ab11Ab11a2Abies balsameaLive20centimeterCoDominantominant1
Ab11Ab11a3Abies balsameaLive24centimeterCoDominantominant1
Ab11Ab11a5Abies balsameaLive27.4centimeterDominant1
Ab11Ab11p1Picea rubensLive30.8centimeterDominant1
Ab11Ab11p2Picea rubensLive25.5centimeterDominant1
Ab11Ab11p3Picea rubensLive20.3centimeterCoDominantominant1
Ab11Ab11p5Picea rubensLive29.3centimeterDominant1
Ab08Ab08a2Abies balsameaLive22.1centimeterCoDominantominant1
Ab08Ab08a3Abies balsameaLive22.3centimeterCoDominantominant1
Ab08Ab08p1Picea rubensLive25.1centimeterCoDominantominant1

Sample of Raw Core Data

Up to 10 rows of data are shown below.

Plot ID Tree ID DBH Vigor Sample ID Species First Year Last Year Estimated Age 20122011201020092008200720062005200420032002200120001999199819971996199519941993199219911990198919881987198619851984198319821981198019791978197719761975197419731972197119701969196819671966196519641963196219611960195919581957195619551954195319521951195019491948194719461945194419431942194119401939193819371936193519341933193219311930192919281927192619251924192319221921192019191918191719161915191419131912191119101909190819071906190519041903190219011900
Ab11Ab11a123.41Abies balsamea19002012770.840.651.
Ab11Ab11a2201Abies balsamea19002012512.482.311.942.011.922.121.571.942.261.941.932.21.962.
Ab11Ab11a3241Abies balsamea190020121190.830.630.720.640.7910.440.590.850.570.530.730.50.540.360.590.440.580.490.550.440.60.470.480.460.550.420.50.320.590.810.531.140.930.780.390.420.530.430.510.550.770.670.630.570.620.710.961.381.030.840.720.340.460.510.760.40.770.670.590.650.560.6700000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Ab11Ab11a527.41Abies balsamea19002012761.682.212.322.722.672.491.811.481.7311.882.021.541.71.511.421.411.841.461.751.451.611.811.831.852.091.862.041.291.911.991.952.391.531.251.050.870.790.90.831.371.351.491.021.571.830000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Ab11Ab11p130.81Picea rubens19002012189000.3050.340.1650.210.170.1350.080.110.3750.3850.2250.410.290.3750.250.30.2150.2350.240.240.2150.2450.30.3150.140.190.0950.
Ab11Ab11p225.51Picea rubens190020122120.6850.4150.420.2850.2550.2050.
Ab11Ab11p320.31Picea rubens19002012912.051.6251.4950.830.6750.690.6550.4550.4050.721.3251.5750.961.2050.810.860.6750.7850.940.780.5750.50.730.7050.890.90.390.340.2850.450.6050.530.740.540.460.4250.510.610.420.5350.560.6450.710.8651.141.1950.8151.481.491.31.2551.7850.781.0351.1651.381.191.8151.380.9051.171.3351.271.7150.9451.611.080.961.0750.920.540.640.521.171.4350.970.9850.990.9451.2851.390.7051.320.920.910.6750.450.6850.5150.480.4050000000000000000000000
Ab11Ab11p529.31Picea rubens1900201218732.6721.
Ab08Ab08a222.11Abies balsamea19002012724.363.753.543.822.
Ab08Ab08a322.31Abies balsamea19002012793.2453.6654.093.6053.4854.0253.353.3752.51.7951.691.6351.251.5551.8551.521.3651.351.
Ab08Ab08p125.11Picea rubens19002012772.342.191.8251.1151.121.0550.830.5350.470.9651.5151.3051.251.3750.8950.931.0351.141.241.581.922.

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Plot Data

Tree Data

Increment Core Data

Supporting Statistical/Analytical Files

Download supporting files such as Cofecha outputs or R code that document the analysis and resulting cross-dating statistics.


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Picea rubens
Ab11, Ab08, Ab09, Bi06, Bi08, Bi09, Di11, Di07, Di09, Ja10, Ja08, Ja09, Ki10, Ki11, Ki09, Md10, Md12, Md09, Ma08, Ma09, Mo07, Mo08, Mo09, Ol07, Ol08, Ol09
Abies balsamea
Ab11, Ab08, Ab09, Bi10, Bi11, Bi09, Di10, Di12, Di09, Ja10, Ja08, Ja09, Ki11, Ki12, Ki09, Md10, Md12, Md09, Ma10, Ma11, Ma08, Mo10, Mo12, Mo08, Ol11, Ol08, Ol09, Su10, Su11, Su07, Su08

Other Files




Site Description:

Tree ID:




Crown Position:




Series Intercorrelation:

Average Mean Sensitivity:

Standard Deviation:


Number of dated series:

Segment Length Tested:

Number of Problem Segments:

Percent Problem Segments:

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