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SCBI tree mortality

Sampling location

SCBI ForestGEO plot

Sampling dates

2014- 2019


The basic census is described in Gonzalez-Akre et al. (2016). This covers all methods used in 2014 and 2015.

Since 2016, we started monitoring all ash tress (Fraxinus spp.) stems down to 1cm DBH in order to capture dynamics of emerald ash borer infestation. The protocols for 2018 and 2019 (with a small modification from the original) are available here

All trees found dead in 2016 and 2017 were cored at breast height (1.3 m) and at base (~30 cm form ground) except if trees where extremely rot or if other hazards prevented boring or resulted in a very poor quality core. Since 2018 we have reduced the number of cores taken from dead trees as we have good chronologies for multiple species and to avoid additional work from our field technicians. Tree core data is here.

We have been paying increasing attention to signs of insect pests and pathogens on newly dead and unhealthy trees. A list of pests and pathogens that may affect our trees is given here.

Data use

2014 and 2015 mortality census data used in Gonzalez-Akre et al. 2016 are published in Dryad and may be used as detailed in the metadata of this publication, as may updated versions of those datasets in this repository.

Data from 2016-2019 censuses are currently being used in analyses and may not be used without permission of the PI (Kristina Anderson-Teixeira). We welcome inquiries about potential collaboration.


name GitHub ID position* role
Kristina Anderson-Teixeira teixeirak staff scientist, SCBI & STRI PI overseeing project since 2016
Erika Gonzalez-Akre gonzalezeb lab manager, SCBI designed census, led 2014 census, oversaw subsequent censuses
Cheng-Yin Eng research assistant , SCBI led 2015 census
Victoria Meakem research assistant, SCBI led 2016 census
Ryan Helcoski RHelcoski research assistant, SCBI led 2017 census
Maya Prestipino PrestipinoMN research assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2017 census, led 2018 census
Alyssa Terrell alyssaterrell research assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2018 census, led 2019 census
Katherine Aldrich field assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2016 census
Clayton Hatcher field assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2016 census
Abigail Ferson aferson field assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2017 census
Meghan Ward field assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2019 census
Alex Georgopolis field assistant, SCBI volunteered for 2019 census

*refers to position at time of main contribution to this repository

[List does not yet include field assistants/ students/ volunteers who helped collect and process cores]


  • ForestGEO
  • Virginia Native Plant Society

Publications using these data

Gonzalez-Akre, E. B., Meakem, V., Eng, C.Y., Tepley, A. J., Bourg, N. A., McShea, W. J., Davies, S. J. and Anderson-Teixeira, K. J. (2016). Patterns of tree mortality in a temperate deciduous forest derived from a large forest dynamics plot. Ecosphere 7(12): e01595. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1595

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