Upland and Forest Ecological Assessment Protocol for New York City

        Upland and Forest Ecological Assessment Protocol for New York City

          Article summary

          This resource provides the field protocol for sampling the upland forest of New York City's urban forested natural areas. Included are metrics for sampling forest structural layers, including the soil, forest floor, coarse woody material, herbaceous and woody vegetation, forest canopy, and human and ecological impacts. The forest and upland ecological assessment was designed to create an unbiased, standardized and replicable methodology to evaluate the health and condition of forest and upland areas resulting in quantitative measures. Initially, this series of protocols was used to assess all upland forest, meadow, woodland and scrublands in New York City parkland Forever Wild Boundaries, but is designed to be replicable in other settings.

          In a nutshell, this resource offers:

          • Standardized protocols for measuring many different aspects of an urban forested natural area.
          • Detailed instructions for establishing forest plots, measuring tree diameter, estimating tree health, and recording unknown species in the field.

          How to use this resource:

          • As a practical field guide for measuring different indicators of forest composition and health in your city.
          • As a starting place for determining which variables are important to include in a forest inventory or assessment in your city.
          • For training field staff on forest measurement practices.

          Author: The Natural Areas Conservancy, the Natural Resources Group of the New York City Parks Department, and the U.S. Forest Service.

          Point of contact: Helen Forgione, Senior Ecologist, Natural Areas Conservancy, helen.forgione@naturalareasnyc.org 


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