Armchair Science Lecture Series:
The Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA)
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
7:00 - 8:30 PM
The VIC's Armchair Science Lecture series continues with a review of the history and current activities on the Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA) plots by Mark Twery and Joe Orefice. The FERDA plots were developed in 1998 in a collaboration between the USDA Forest Service, Paul Smith’s College, and the then-New York State run VIC to study and interpret the impacts of different cutting practices on natural communities.
The area demonstrates five different silvicultural systems, such as clearcutting and shelterwood cutting. Seven plots were established along the Jenkins Mountain Road at the VIC, each five acres in size. Five of the plots received a cutting treatment in the winter of 1999-2000; the other two plots serve as control plots. An additional set of seven matching plots was established elsewhere on Paul Smith’s College land as an experimental replicate. A primary goal of the project is to show visitors what each forest harvest treatment looks like, and how various logging methods affect different communities of forest plants and wildlife. Each plot has an interpretive sign describing the treatment that was applied.
- Mark Twery is a supervisory research forester with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. He received his PhD in 1987 from Yale University's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is one of the scientists who established the FERDA and is the lead author of a 2013 study of the VIC's FERDA plots: Changes in abundance of vascular plants under varying silvicultural systems at the Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area, Paul Smiths, New York. The study provides an introduction to the plants found on the FERDA.
- Joe Orefice is an assistant professor at Paul Smith's College School of Natural Resource Management & Ecology. He specializes in forestry, silvopasture, and sustainable agriculture and teaches courses in timber harvesting and forest ecology.