Site: FP5C

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Site Administration: Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Station, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Site Contact: Jamie Hollingsworth

General Information
Alternate Names:253, BCEFY3
Latitude:64.71361404°
Longitude:-148.1472629°
Datum:NAD83
Max Elevation:127 meters
Min Elevation:127 meters
Description:FP5C is located on an older terrace of the Tanana River on the south side of the river opposite Sam Charley Island. The climate station and neighboring research plots were burned in August of 2010 by the Willow Creek Wildfire.
Vegetation:FP5C is an open stand of black spruce with widely scattered individuals of tamarack (Larix laricina) Total tree canopy is 32%. Tree density in 1989 totaled 2684 trees per hectare of which 2667 were black spruce and 17 were tamarack. Total basal area of the stand is 14.7 m2/ha nearly all of which is black spruce. Average diameter of the dominant black spruce is 15 cm, and heights range from 10 to 15 m but average diameter for all of the black spruce in the stand is only 8 cm. The dominant spruce and tamarack are about 150 years old, but occasional younger trees occur. The tall shrub layer has 21% canopy cover and is primarily of Alnus crispa and Rosa acicularis, with widely scattered Salix glauca, Salix arbusculoides, and Salix planifolia. The low shrub layer is conspicuous with 76% cover; mainly Ledum groenlandicum and Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Common herbs are Equisetum scirpoides, E. arvense, Poa sp. and Calamagrostis canadensis. with a total herbaceous cover of 25%. The nearly continuous moss cover (83%) is dominated by Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium schreberi. Lichens have 7% cover , primarily Peltigera aphthosa.
History:The study site was established in 1987 as an LTER site and is adjacent to a permanent plot established by L.A. Viereck (LAV #1133) in 1965. Soil and air temperature measurements at the site were started in 1992. In 2013, this site was added to the Regional Site Network (RSN) with the age class designation of "Young".
Directions:South side of the Tanana River opposite Sam Charley Island complex.
Sampling Attributes
  • % Calcium
  • % Cover
  • % Magnesium in soil samples
  • % of Clay in soil samples
  • % Potassium in Soil
  • % Sand in soil sample
  • % Silt
  • % Water in a soil sample
  • Ammonium Ion in soil samples (g)
  • Average Height of White Spruce Seedlings
  • Average Relative Humidity Values
  • Basel Area per Hectare
  • Cation Exchange Capacity of Soil
  • Count of White Spruce
  • Depth to frost
  • Diameter at Breast Height
  • Dry wood weight in grams from litter traps
  • Hare Pellet Counts
  • Leucine equivalents of bulk amino acids in micrograms
  • Maximum Air Temperature
  • Maximum Relative Humidity Values
  • Mean Air Temperature
  • Micrograms of bovine serum albumin equivalents per gram dry weight
  • Minimum Air Temperature
  • Minimum Relative Humidity Values
  • Nitrate Ion in soil samples (g)
  • pH value in soil sample
  • Photosynthetically Active Radiation
  • Root Nitrogen
  • Root respiration
  • Silicon
  • Sodium concentrations in water
  • Soil Horizon Layer
  • Soil Respiration
  • Soil Temperature at a range of depths
  • Sulfate ion concentrations in water (mg/l)
  • Weight in grams of annual Leaf Litter
Data Sets

Active Layer Depth or Permafrost Presence for the Regional Site Network. : Between 2011 and 2015, maximum active layer depth was measured during the fall at the majority of the sites in the Regional Site Network (RSN). Efforts were focused mainly on identifying which sites did and did not have frozen ground. To augment this dataset, older measurements were included for some mature sites at which the maximum active layer depths can be assumed to be fairly static. Due to time constraints, sites which we were confident had no frozen ground were not probed.

BNZ LTER: Hourly photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), 1988 - Present: PAR sensors measure solar radiation in the 400 to 700 nm waveband in microEinsteins per sq. m. per second. The average hourly reading is converted to microEinsteins per sq. m. per hour and summed over 24 hours to obtain daily Einsteins per sq. m. Sensors are removed at the end of September for annual calibrations and replaced back at the sites by the first of May each year.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Active layer depths at core floodplain sites: Annual thaw depths are measured at the time of maximum thaw at any of the 35 BCEF-LTER sites that have permafrost or intermittent seasonal frost. 1. Wildfire in the black spruce permafrost sites will cause an increase in the active layer thickness and subsidence of the surface layers that may last for up to 25 years. The active layer thickness should return to the pre-fire depths between 25 and 30 years after the fire. 2. Climate warming in interior Alaska may result in an increase in the active layer thickness in black spruce permafrost sites. 3. Fire and climate warming together may result in the elimination of permafrost from some black spruce permafrost sites in interior Alaska. 4. Forest succession on the floodplain of the Tanana River results in a gradual decrease in soil temperature as the organic layer increases with time. The development of a thick feathermoss layer in later stages of succession is especially important in the development of permafrost. Permanent or intermittent permafrost should develop in the older white spruce stages. Black spruce stands on the older terraces should be underlain by permafrost with a shallow active layer. 5. Climate warming will delay the formation of permafrost until the latest stages of forest succession and may eliminate it completely from floodplain stands.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Dew Point measurements: hourly (1988 - Present): Calculated dew point values using the air temperature and relative humidity data collected at the corresponding Bonanza Creek climate station.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Hourly Relative Humidity (mean, min, max) at 50 cm and 150 cm from 1988 to Present: This dataset contains the hourly output from relative humidity sensors for the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (BCEF). Most sites have two sensors, one at 50 cm and one at 150cm. This includes Level 3 weather stations as well as smaller scale and temporal studies. This data can be sorted and viewed by site, year, hour, height of measurement, mean, min, and max value. Updates of each site are different since some are still on going while other had only a 2 - 3 year life cycle. This information can be found in the site descriptions and in the metadata.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Hourly Precipitation data, 1988 to Present: Precipitation is measured at many sites within BCEF using TE525 tipping buckets. These sensors are able to detect .254mm of precipitation and record hourly totals of rainfall or throughfall. It should be noted the tipping buckets within forested sites are subject to clogging by forest debris whcih can result in under reporting of rain events as well as over reporting upon release of the collected precipitation. There is data from floodplains to upland sites along a range of successional gradients.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Hourly Soil Temperature at varying depths from 1988 to Present: A collection of soil temperatures from upland and floodplain sites. Temperatures are recorded from a range of depths: Surface,0, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 cm. Depths represent the depth below the organic mineral interface (O/M) that the sensor was placed. Sensors in the organic soil layers were added at some sites and are given a negative depth value to indicate they were placed above the O/M interface. There is also a Surface temperature which is kept in the top few centimeters of the forest floor.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Hourly Temperature (sample, min, max) at 50 cm and 150 cm from 1988 to Present: This dataset contains the hourly output from Vaisala HMP35 and HMP45 temperature sensors for the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (BCEF). Any temperature data collected in this area is reported here. This includes Level 3 weather stations as well as smaller scale and temporal studies. This data can be sorted and viewed by site, year, hour, height of measurement, mean, min, and max value. Updates of each site are different since some are still on going while other had only a 2-3 year life cycle. This information can be found in the site descriptions and in the metadata.

Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: Vapor Pressure measurements: hourly (1988 - Present): Calculated vapor pressure values using the air temperature and relative humidity data collected at the corresponding Bonanza Creek climate station 150cm sensors.

Fine root respiration on the floodplain in Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest: This dataset comtains soil temperature, Root Respiration, and root nitrogen.

Floodplain Black Spruce Permafrost Forest Fungal Diversity: This dataset includes genetic sample information for fungal DNA analysis collected at mixed black and white spruce stands located within the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest floodplain.

GIS point locations for Forest Soils Laboratory, SALRM research sites: 1967 - 2000: This is a collection of study site GIS locations for the Forest Soils Lab research locations. There are sites from within BCEF and CPCRW.

Litterfall and Hare Pellet Summary at Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots (1985 - Present): Litterfall weights and Hare Pellet counts at LTER Control Plots within the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest and the Caribou Poker Creeks Research Watershed.

Point Bar Vegetation Survey of Bonanza Creek LTER Research Plots (2007-Present): Beginning in 2007 ocular vegetation estimates were replaced by the point bar system. The point bar is meant to be a more objective way of carrying out annual vegetation surveys. In particular because you are placing the point bar in the same location every time a site is visited, a better understanding of vegetation change over time is possible. This method replaces the old system of estimating percent cover visually ( Vegetation Plots of the Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots: Species Percent Cover (1975 - 2009) ), which is often subject to personal bias and small shifts in species composition are often overlooked. Data from both methods were collected during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 field seasons, and regression analysis shows unique and statistically significant relationships between the two methods depending on growth form. At each site, growth forms were evaluated separately, and at each site there is a specific regression model for each growth form. In this way a user can correlate the two methods and data collected before 2007 can be compared to data collected after the new protocol was established.

Shrub, Seedling and Sapling Density at Bonanza Creek LTER Research Sites (1975-Present): This study is a survey of the density of tall shrubs, saplings, and seedlings at Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots. Densities have been measured at some sites since 1975 while others began in the mid 1980's. In 2006 methodology was changed in attempt to better capture the spatial variability of shrub and tree species within the research sites. The current method, presented here, uses a 2 meter wide transect along two site boundarys covering 220m2. All seedlings, saplings, and tall shrubs >1m (regardless of species) are counted by species and size class along the transect. The previous method used 4m2 circular plots at 20 points on a 10mx10m grid within the control plot for an area of 80m2. The circular method measured all seedlings, saplings, and a certain set of "tall shrubs" (see metadata for Vegetation Plots of the Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots: Species Count (1975 - 2004) for a definition of "tall shrubs"), regardless of height. The height requirement creates an issue when comparing the old and new methods for early successional stands. For Alnus and Salix this is likely only a problem in the FP0 sites as they are the only sites with a high density of shrubs shorter than 1m. Shrub community changes at these early successional sites should be analyzed using precent cover data. At the later successional sites most Alnus and Salix shrubs are greater than 1m so the transect method likely does not underrepresent density. The raw data from the circular method can be found in Vegetation Plots of the Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots: Species Count (1975 - 2004) .

Soil Horizon Descriptions/Classification and Lab Analysis: Characterization and sampling of Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research site soils was done. Characterization included description of the soil pits and the horizons. Measurements of pH were taken and sampling for bulk density, bulk chemical/physical characterization, and P-fractionation occurred. Soil classification was also determined.

Soil Respiration in Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest Floodplain Black Spruce Sites: Fine root processes play a prominent role in the carbon and nutrient cycling of boreal ecosystems due to the high proportion of biomass allocated belowground and the rapid decomposition of fine roots relative to aboveground tissues. To examine these issues in detail, major components of ecosystem carbon flux were studied in three mature black spruce forests in interior Alaska, where fine root production, respiration, mortality and decomposition, and aboveground production of trees, shrubs and mosses were measured relative to soil CO2 fluxes. Fine root production, measured over a 2-year period using minirhizotrons, varied from 0.004 ? 0.001 mm cm-2 d-1 over winter, to 0.051 ? 0.015 mm cm-2 d-1 during July, with peak growing season values comparable to those reported for many temperate forests using similar methods. On average, 84% of this production occurred within 20 cm of the moss surface, although the proportion occurring in deeper profiles increased as soils gradually warmed throughout the summer. Monthly rates of production and mortality were somewhat asynchronous because mortality tended to peak during fall and be minimal during periods of peak production. Production and mortality were, however, positively correlated across all tubes and time periods (r2 = 0.42, P < 0.0001). Annual fine root production averaged 2.45 ? 0.31, 8.01 ? 1.39, and 2.53 ? 0.27 mm cm-2 yr-1 among the three sites, when averaged across years. Fine root survival and decomposition were measured by tracking and analyzing the fate of individual fine roots using mark-recapture techniques. Fine root survival was greatest during periods of peak root growth, and least over winter (?time). Roots first appearing in the middle of the growing season had higher survival rates than those first appearing early or late in growing season, or over winter (?cohort), and risk of mortality decreased with root age (?age). Survival estimates translate to mean life spans of 108 ? 4 days during the growing season. While these values are in striking contrast to needle longevity and rates of aboveground litter decomposition, they are similar to many values found for temperate systems, supporting the notion that there are basic morphological and physiological traits of first-order roots that are common to most woody plant root systems. During the growing season, monthly fine root decomposition rates averaged 0.46 ? 0.01 month-1, while decomposition rates over winter averaged 0.73 ? 0.01 winter-1. These growing season estimates translate to 49 ? 2 days from the time a root was first observed as dead, to the time it disappeared. For roots that decomposed during the growing season, those with longer life spans decomposed more slowly after death. Comparing these results with other minirhizotron studies suggests that life-history traits of black spruce first-order roots are similar to those from temperate (and perhaps most) forest ecosystems. Annual production of fine roots averaged 228 ? 75 g biomass m-2 yr-1, constituting approximately 56% of total stand production. Aboveground production of trees (50 ? 14 g biomass m-2 yr-1, 13%) and shrubs (40 ? 2 g biomass m-2 yr-1, 11%) contributed similarly to total production, while mosses (73 ? 14 g biomass m-2 yr-1, 20%) accounted for the largest component of aboveground production. Soil temperature had a strong control over both soil respiration (Q10 = 2.21 ? 0.31) and root respiration (Q10 = 2.30 ? 0.37). During the growing season (15 May to 15 September), approximately 56% of soil CO2 efflux (580 ? 40 g C m-2) was derived from fine root respiration (329 ? 54 g C m-2). Although apparent rates of heterotrophic respiration (May - September) and total production did not differ, definitive estimates of net ecosystem production are impossible given the potentially large, unmeasured components of NPP, such as root exudation and mycorrhizal production. Nevertheless, rates of fine root production, mortality, and decomposition indicate that in these black spruce ecosystems, fine roots are much more dynamic than would be predicted from patterns of aboveground processes, and that carbon, and presumably nutrients, are cycling through fine roots at rates several orders of magnitude faster than through aboveground tissues.

Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget, extracted soil protein content: Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T0 Tanana Floodplain soils Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T30 Tanana Floodplain soils Sodium Bicarbonate Extracted Tanana River Floodplain Soil Protein Concentrations, 2001 Plot locations for the Tanana River Floodplain DON buget study. GPS coordinates for the Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget Study plots All values given are in micrograms of bovine serum albumin equivalents per gram dry weight. Site designations in parenthesis are specific to the study and represent individual transects,each within a unique stand of the following standtypes: W=willow,A=alder,BP=balsam poplar,4=white spruce,5=black spruce. Months: 6=June,7=July,etc.

Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget, GPS coordinates for Tanana River Floodplain study plots: Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T0 Tanana Floodplain soils Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T30 Tanana Floodplain soils Sodium Bicarbonate Extracted Tanana River Floodplain Soil Protein Concentrations, 2001 Plot locations for the Tanana River Floodplain DON buget study. GPS coordinates for the Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget Study plots GPS coordinates for the Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget Study plots. Readings were taken from the centre of each 30 X 30 meter plot (1DW3 is 45 X 20). The GPS unit (Garmin etrex Summit) indicated an accuracy of about +/- 5 meters.

Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (T0 DON) Budget: Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T0 Tanana Floodplain soils Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T30 Tanana Floodplain soils Sodium Bicarbonate Extracted Tanana River Floodplain Soil Protein Concentrations, 2001 Plot locations for the Tanana River Floodplain DON buget study. GPS coordinates for the Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget Study plots 9999 missing data All values given are in micrograms of nitrogen for the given compound per gram dry weight. AA is leucine equivalents of bulk amino acids. Site designations in parenthesis are specific to the study and represent individual transects, each within a unique stand of the following standtypes: W=willow, A=alder, BP=balsam poplar, 4=white spruce, 5=black spruce. Months: 6=June, 7=July, etc.

Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (T30 DON) Budget: Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T0 Tanana Floodplain soils Ammonium, Nitrate, and Amino Acid concentrations in .5M K2SO4 extracted T30 Tanana Floodplain soils Sodium Bicarbonate Extracted Tanana River Floodplain Soil Protein Concentrations, 2001 Plot locations for the Tanana River Floodplain DON buget study. GPS coordinates for the Tanana River Floodplain Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (DON) Budget Study plots All units are micrograms of N of the selected compound per gram dry weight. AA are in leucine equivalents

Tree band growth data taken at BCEF sites (1989 -Present): This file contains the yearly diameter of select trees within each of the forested LTER control plots. Diameter is calculated from adding the diameter increment based on circumference growth taken from dendrometer bands read each fall.

Tree inventory data taken at BCEF sites (1989-Present): This is the data from the periodic (3-10 yr interval) tree inventory monitoring of tree growth within the vegetation control plots. In 2013 and 2014, an intial tree inventory was done on each site belonging to the Regional Site Network (RSN). Some young RSN sites had no, or very few trees.

Tree stand structure summary at Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest LTER sites: We measure trees and shrubs within 50 x 60 m permanent plots at LTER research sites within the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest, as a means to monitor vegetation change and to estimate productivity. The 27 LTER research sites represent three replicates each of six successional stages of primary succession on the floodplain of the Tanana River and three stages of succession following wildfire in the uplands. All trees and tall shrubs within the plot are stem mapped, and the dbh is measured at least every 5 years. The condition of each tree is assessed at the time of measurement and following major disturbance events. Band dendrometers have been placed on select trees at each site where applicable. Litterfall and seedfall are collected and measured annually. White spruce seedlings are mapped and their heights measured every 2 years within the tree plots at younger successional stages. The DBH of alders and willows are measured. Shrub heights are measured annually at young floodplain stands. Changes in species composition through succession are a function of life history traits modified by facilitative and competitive interactions. Vegetation-caused changes in resource (light, nutrients, and moisture)availability during succession control vegetation biomass, productivity, and organic matter and nutrient distribution.

Vegetation composition for 84 sites in the Regional Site Network, compilation from previous surveys.: Many sites in the LTER regional site network (RSN) were adopted from preexisting site networks. Prior to becoming a part of the RSN, releve surveys were conducted at or near the current RSN site using the Braun-Bluanquet cover estimate scale. These data have been compiled for use as a baseline. It is important to note that many of the young successional sites were last surveyed in 2006, 2 years after fire.

Vegetation Plots of the Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots: Species Count (1975 - 2004): These data are the vegetation datasets for 27 LTER sites in Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest. The 27 sites are divided into three replicates for six primary successional stages on the floodplains (3 replicates X 6 successional stages = 18 sites) and three replicates for three secondary successional stages in the uplands (3 replicates X 3 successional stages = 9 sites). Data include: 1) Visual estimates of percent cover, 2) Stem counts (the number of individuals/species), and 3) Heights (cm) for "tall shrub species" in twenty 4 m2 plots. Shrubs are considered "Tall shrubs" if they are Salix sp., Alnus sp., Rosa acicularis, Viburnum edule, Betula nana, Betula glandulosa, or Rubus idaeus. Initial colonziations plots (FP0s, SL1s, HR1A) were remeasured every year. Early successional plots were remeasured every 2-4 years. Later succesional plots were remeasured approximately every five years. For a detail schedule of plot measurements please see the file: Vegetation Monitoring Schedule.xls Although most sites were established in 1988 some sites have vegetation plots that have been sampled periodically since 1965. In 2006 shrub data collection was changed to a transect method of sampling. These data can be found in the file: Shrub, Seedling and Sapling Density at Bonanza Creek LTER Research Sites (2006-Present) .

Vegetation Plots of the Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots: Species Percent Cover (1975 - 2009): This study is a survey of the vegetation of the 35 control sites in Bonanza Creek LTER. The 35 sites represent replicates each of six successional stages of primary succession on the floodplain of the Tanana River and four stages of succession uplandsas well as a few recently burned sites. Data include percent cover of all species and count based on twenty 1 m2 or 4 m2 plots. Plots in young stages of succession were remeasured every 1 to 2 years; those in older stages every 3 to 5 years. Some information on biomass in these stages is available. Although most sites were established in 1988 some sites have vegetation plots that have been sampled periodically since 1965. 2009 was the last year of sampling using visual estimates of percent cover. In 2007 a new point framing system was developed and is now used for collecting vegetation data from these sites.

White Spruce Seedling Counts at Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest Vegetation Plots (4-sq meters): This study is a survey of the spruce seedlings of 24 LTER sites in Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest. The 24 sites are divided into three replicates for six primary successional stages onthe floodplains (3 replicates X 5 successional stages = 15 sites) and three replicates for three secondary sucessional stages in the uplands (3 replicates X 3 successional stages = 9 sites). White spruce seedlings were surveyed on some sites as early as 1975 and every 1-2 years from the 1980's through 2004. Seedlings are currently surveyed as part of the Shrub, Seedling and Sapling Density at Bonanza Creek LTER Research Sites (2006-Present) data package.

Yearly Seedfall Summary at Bonanza Creek LTER Control Plots (1985 - Present): The Yearly Seedfall Summary dataset includes seed counts and germination rates of Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Betula neoalaskana (papyrifera), Picea mariana, Larix larciana, Alnus crispa, and Alnus tenuifolia. Seeds are collected in .25m^2 trays located on the forest floor of the a selected set of LTER successional sites. Germination takes plaace in the BECRU lab facility at UAF.

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