SETRES Research Site

by Jeffrey S. Pippen | Jeff's Research Page | Jeff's Nature Pages

On January 27th, I went down to help out with a big tree harvest at the Southeastern Tree Research and Education Site (SETRES) in the sandhills of Scotland Co., NC. This facility, run by the Forest Nutrition Cooperative, is in a loblolly pine plantation, and the research focusses on expanding our understanding of forest productivity, especially related to nutrient and water availability.
We excavated a 1m x 1m x 0.9m deep soil pit to quantify course root biomass by depth. We first removed the layer of soil 0-15cm deep, then 15-30, 30-50, 50-70, and 70-90cm. Each layer of soil was separately sieved to removed course roots.
Chris Maier is filling a bucket of soil, which he gives to Ram Oren at the sieve. Ram and Dan McInnis work the soil through the sieve to collect the roots. Dan is removing excess soil from underneath the sieve in this shot.
Ram removes roots from the sieve to be dried and weighed.
We discovered a region of charcoal in the soil corresponding to an old, burned stump. Note the concentration of live roots around this old stump, probably taking advantage of extra moisture and nutrients from the slowly decomposing stump.
Jeff Pippen stands in the final soil pit.
Another group excavated a soil pit around the stump of a recently cut loblolly pine. Shown here is a portion of the tap root system of the tree.

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Created on ... Jan 31, 2009 |