The UMBS Forest Carbon Cycle Research Program

Welcome to the UMBS Forest Carbon Cycle Research Program (UMBS~Flux) homepage. You will find a variety of information about our research program at this website, ranging from general descriptions of our objectives to technical meteorological and biological data. We are headquartered at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) in northern lower Michigan, USA.

Research Objectives
The broad objectives of the UMBS Forest Carbon Cycle Research Program are to address questions of ecosystem/ atmosphere linkages that are general in nature and which will contribute to large-scale carbon cycle modeling efforts, and to test hypotheses specific to the upper Great Lakes forest ecosystems that will further our understanding of productivity controls over these regionally important communities. Our current research centers on the Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET), which is a large-scale manipulation that examines carbon cycling processes following the transition from aspen dominated ecosystems to those of later-successional species with biologically and structurally more complex canopies.

The AmeriFlux Network
The UMBS Forest Carbon Cycle Research Program operates within the AmeriFlux network of carbon cycle research facilities. Primary funding for the first 9 years of operation was through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Institute for Environmental Change (NIGEC). Since September 15, 2006, the program has been funded by the National Institute for Climate Change Research (NICCR).

Research Approach
The main thrust of observations are conducted on and around two meteorological towers. One tower has been operating for over a decade and a new tower is now operational (5/07) in a 33 ha treatment plot in which ecological succession was experimentally accelerated in Spring 2008 by stem girdling all aspen and birch (>6,700 trees, ~35% canopy LAI) . Eddy correlation techniques, employing three dimensional sonic anemometers and fast response gas analyzers, are used to monitor the fluxes of CO2, sensible heat, latent heat (H2O) and momentum. Our two main sampling levels above the forest canopy are supplemented by profiles of carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity over the entire depth of the tower and by micrometeorological stations that are distributed below canopy within the flux footprint of the tower. Extensive ecological studies also are conducted near the UMBS~Flux tower, encompassing both plant and soil mediated processes. These include stand-level carbon budgets, gas exchange, water use, and isotopic discrimination.

Contact Information

Dr. Peter S. Curtis,
Site Director.

Tel: 614-292-0835
FAX: 614-292-2030

Lab homepage: www.biosci.ohio-

Site News

Collaborators sought for FASET (Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT)

Disturbance, succession and forest carbon dynamics: a large-scale manipulation at the University of Michigan Biological Station

Researchers Peter Curtis (Ohio State Univ.), Chris Vogel (Univ. Michigan), Danilo Dragoni (Indiana Univ.), and Chris Gough (Ohio State Univ.) received funding from the National Institute for Climate Change Research to examine ecosystem carbon cycling following experimentally induced accelerated succession in UMBS forestland. In Spring 2008, we implemented the Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) by stem girdling all aspen and birch (>6,700 trees, ~35% canopy LAI) within a 33 ha stand and in three nearby 2 ha replicate stands. This novel, ecosystem-scale experiment will speed the successional transition from an even-aged aspen-dominated forest to an uneven-aged mixed deciduous-conifer forest, and will result in major changes in plant species composition, tree age distribution, canopy structure, detritus production, and other variables that will affect a broad array of ecological processes at all trophic levels.

We invite researchers who would like to pursue other lines of scientific inquiry to take advantage of this long-term ecosystem-scale manipulation. For additional information, please contact Chris Vogel ( ), co-principle investigator, or view the proposal narrative and a Univ. of Michigan press release .


New Meterological Tower Online, Pre-treatment Data Collected in Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (08/07)

A 33 m eddy-covariance tower is now operating (5/07) in the the Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) 33 ha main treatment plot. During the summer of 2007 we surveyed a 25 m grid throughout the 33 ha treatment plot, conducted small-scale girdling studies to examine tree and soil responses, installed zero-tension soil lysimeters within the treatment plots, and obtained baseline fine root density and C and N data. Collaborations with scientists from other fields are underway, including an atmospheric chemistry group examining VOC fluxes, a snowpack and soil trace gas exchange group, a canopy structure and light reflectance group, and a plant demography group (see our 2006-2007 annual report). We welcome additional collaborations with those interested in utilizing this project as a platform for further studies.