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Penobscot Experimental Forest

Research

[photo:] University of Maine, School of Forest Resources students measuring trees on a permanent sample plot in the U.S. Forest Service experiment on the PEF.Numerous short- and long-term studies have been conducted by Forest Service scientists and cooperators on the PEF over the years, resulting in an invaluable research site and database. The earliest work on the PEF was a large-scale experiment investigating the outcomes of 10 different silvicultural treatments; though that work has continued until the present day, a number of additional studies have been conducted. Manipulative experiments initiated by the Forest Service on the PEF include strip clearcutting, prescribed burning, a range of thinning studies, provenance studies, and rehabilitation treatments. These studies created a range of stand structures and compositions in close proximity to one another, with stand-level replication. This means that the PEF serves as an ideal location for observational studies requiring diverse forest structures and developmental pathways. 
Research has addressed tree growth and stem form, understory plant richness, nonnative invasive plants, leaf area – growth efficiency relationships, root structure, spruce budworm control, wildlife population dynamics, wildlife – habitat relationships, regeneration dynamics, nutrient cycling, wood decay, harvesting technology, logging damage, biomass production, forest age structure, and carbon storage, among other topics.