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USFS Logo Research Data Archive

Penobscot Research Data



The mission of the Penobscot Experimental Forest (PEF) is to afford a setting for long-term research conducted cooperatively by USDA Forest Service scientists, university researchers, and professional forest managers in Maine; to enhance forestry education of students and the public; and to demonstrate how the timber needs of society are met from a working forest. Though owned by the University of Maine Foundation, the PEF has been a Forest Service experimental forest since 1950. Today the PEF is the site of a number of collaborative research programs.

Located 15 km north of Bangor, Maine, the PEF is in the Acadian Forest, a region covering much of Atlantic Canada and adjacent Maine. An ecotone between boreal and broadleaf biomes, the region is dominated by mixed conifers. Red spruce is the signature species of the Acadian Forest.

More information can be found on the Penobscot EF website.

Data Description

Scientific studies on the PEF have traditionally been focused on management of mixed conifer stands for timber. Over the past 30 years, research was broadened to include fundamental studies of tree growth and maturation, wildlife habitat, spruce budworm predation, biodiversity, root structure and function, coarse woody material, economics, and growth and yield modeling, among other topics. The long-term silvicultural experiment that is the basis for most of the Forest Service's research on the PEF includes 10 replicated treatments representing a range of even- and uneven-aged prescriptions: clearcutting, variants of shelterwood, selection with three cutting cycles, two forms of diameter-limit cutting, and an unmanaged reference. In 1976 another long-term experiment known as the precommercial thinning by fertilization study was initiated to quantify crop tree response to treatments. Thinning treatments included no-release, spaced, row thinning with crop tree release, and row thinning with no crop tree release.

Browse our full list of data publications.

Queryable databases

All data publications

If you have questions about these data or have conducted a research study on the Penobscot Experimental Forest and would like to make your dataset available for use by others, please contact Laura Kenefic.

Some supplemental data documentation available on this site may be provided in PDF or PDF/A format. Get the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to interpret these files.