About Field Sites
Bartlett Experimental Forest (BART) is a terrestrial NEON field site located within the Saco River Valley of the White Mountain National Forest in Carroll County, New Hampshire. The 15.66 km2 (3870 acre) site is hosted by the U.S. Forest Service. The site’s soils, elevational gradient, climate, and tree species composition are typical for many forested areas throughout New England. BART also represents the most northeastern NEON site and anchors the top of the north-south nitrogen deposition gradient along the eastern side of the U.S. BART is located in the Northeast Domain (D01), which encompasses the New England and northern Eastern Seaboard states along with the northern end of the Appalachian range. D01 includes one other terrestrial site and one aquatic site.  
The local climate of the Bartlett Experimental Forests consists of relatively warm summers with temperatures above 32°C (89°F) and cold winters with temperatures reaching -5°C (23°F). Average annual mean temperature is 6.2°C and average annual precipitation is 1270 mm (50 in.). Elevation differences from 200 m (680 ft.) to 900 m (3000 ft.) greatly affect localized climate. It is not uncommon for higher elevations to accumulate more than 600 mm (23.6 in.) of snow during one storm.   
BART is made up of White Mountain Plutonic-Volcanic Succession bedrock. The parent materials at BART are mostly ablation till, lodgment till, melt-out till, and supraglacial till derived from conway granite and gneiss.   
The soils at BART are spodosols within the subgroup Aquic Haplorthods. They developed on glacial till derived from granite and gneiss. The major soil series on the site include Marlow, Monadnock, and Danforth. The soils are moist, but relatively well-drained. The soil organic horizon under the forest canopy ranges between 3-30 cm in thickness.   
Due to the geology of the White Mountain National Forests, most of the locations are well drained. However, lower elevation locations may be slightly less effective at water drainage. 
Climate and glacial till soil make BART an ideal area for old-growth northern deciduous hardwoods consisting of beech (Fagus sp.) and sugar maple (Acer saccarum). White pines (Pinus strobus) are dispersed throughout the site but are primarily found in lower elevations. Softwood trees such as hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), and spruce are frequently found on cool steep slopes or in lower elevations with poor drainage. 
Typical wildlife found in the White Mountains include white-tailed deer, moose, red and gray fox, black bear, snowshoe hare, raccoon, coyote, Canadian lynx, river otter, mink, and porcupine. Notable bird species include bald eagle, peregrine falcon, ruffled grouse, and Becknell's thrush. 
Past Land Management and Use
Like other areas throughout the northeast, the White Mountains where BART is located have a history of logging through the late 19th century and into the early 20th. The timber industry selectively logged the area for high-value species, built logging railroads, and cut down hardwood stands for fuel. The majority of the forest was managed for logging; however, some portions of the lower forest were cleared for pasture, and higher elevation sections were left wild. Fires were infrequent throughout the past century, but the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 is notably responsible for widespread damage to the forest. The Bartlett Experimental Forest was officially established as a research station in 1931 by Congress. The first 50 years of research focused on forest dynamics and management, ecological relationships of wildlife, and preservation. 
Current Land Management and Use
The land is actively managed by the USDA Forest Service. Northeastern Forest Service scientists and faculty and graduate students from the University of New Hampshire contribute greatly to the current research in the Bartlett Experimental Forest. Research areas include but are not limited to long-term succession studies, habitat studies, clearcutting and shelterwood studies, stocking, remote sensing, songbirds, bats, small mammals, and salamander. More recently, remote sensing has become an area of increased interest with cooperation among Forest Service, University of New Hampshire and NASA scientists. Ongoing research completed at Bartlett drives many of the management decisions for northeastern hardwood forests.  
NEON Site Establishment
The Domain 01 support facility in Fitchburg, MA was constructed in June 2013. Terrestrial observational sampling at BART began in October 2014, but plot establishment (the process of selecting, ground-truthing and building out plots) was not completed until November 2015. The instrumentation tower was not fully complete until December 2016. The 2006 National Land Cover Database (NLCD) was selected for stratification because of the consistent and comparable data availability across the United States. TOS Tower Plots were allocated according to a spatially balanced design in and around the NEON tower airshed.
 USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station. 1998. Bartlett Experimental Forest
 Adams, Mary Beth; Loughry, Linda; Plaugher, Linda, comps. 2004. Experimental Forests and Ranges of the USDA Forest Service. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-321. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 178 p.
 Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 01. NEON.DOC.003884vB
 Philippe, Jessica; Stuart, Martha (2016). NEON Site Level Plot Summary: Bartlett Experimental Forest (BART), July 2016 https://data.neonscience.org/documents/10179/2361410/BART_Soil_SiteSumm…
 Michael SanClements, Robert H Lee, E D Ayres, Keli Goodman, Morgan Jones, David Durden, Katherine Thibault, Rommel Zulueta, Joshua Roberti, Claire Lunch, Adrian Gallo, Collaborating with NEON, BioScience, Volume 70, Issue 2, February 2020, Page 107, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa005.
 PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 Feb 2004.| U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. Retrieved from https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has a flux/meteorological tower that is 35 m (115 ft) tall with six measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface, soil heat flux, solar radiation, and throughfall are measured at the soil surface in each soil plot. Soil moisture, soil temperature, and CO2 concentration are measured at multiple depths in each soil plot.
At terrestrial sites, field ecologists observe birds and plants, and sample ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, soil microbes, and ticks. Lab analyses are carried out to provide further data on DNA sequences, pathogens, soils, sediments, and biogeochemistry. Learn more about terrestrial observations or explore this site's data products.
Field Site Data
White Mountain National Forest, U.S. Forest Service (Northern Research Station)
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
Bartlett Experimental Forest has very limited staff and the USFS personnel are NOT available to support external researchers. Permitting requests for research activities should be submitted at least 6 months prior to planned start.
NEON Field Operations Office
NEON Field Operations Address
166 Boulder Drive, Suite 101
Fitchburg, MA 01420
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Dominant Wind Direction
Mean Canopy Height
Dominant NLCD Classes
Deciduous Forest, Evergreen Forest, Mixed Forest
Average number of green days
Average first greenness increase date
Average peak green date
Average first greenness decrease date
Average minimum greenness date
Number of Tower Levels
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Typically pink, coarse-grained granite
USGS Geology Age
Middle to Late Jurassic
Megapit Soil Family
Coarse-loamy, isotic, frigid. Aquic Haplorthods.
Other Domain D01 Field Sites