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Building the Forest Inventory and Analysis tree-ring dataset

Date: July 28, 2016

The Forest Inventory and Analysis network of plots is massive, and tree-ring data collected on these plots can be used for a broad array of research


Interior West states showing FIA plots and plots with tree-ring data.
Interior West states showing FIA plots (black dots) and plots with tree-ring data (red dots).
The Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program measures forestland conditions at great extent with relatively high spatial resolution, including the collection of tree-ring data. RMRS researchers and their partners at Utah State University are developing an unprecedented spatial tree-ring data set that includes ring-width increments from tree cores. They describe a framework for preparation, interpretation, and archiving of the Forest Inventory and Analysis tree rings using standard methodology for dendrochronology research. Early results suggest that the data produced by this framework are useful for growth-and-yield studies, stand dynamics, and dendroclimatology.

The researchers discuss the potential for tree-ring data to become a standard component of the FIA program. They also compare and contrast the applications and procedures of dendrochronology and forest inventories, and show how the two sources of data complement one another.

Key Findings

  • Researchers are developing an extensive Forest Inventory and Analysis tree-ring data network
  • The network complements existing tree-ring data and can be used to ask novel scientific questions about growth-and-yield, stand dynamics, and dendroclimatology

Principal Investigators: 
Principal Investigators - External: 
James N Long - Utah State University