Project Overview
Previous Findings
Forest Succession
Project Data


BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK: Repeat 50 Year Old Forest Succession Research Study

Bryce Canyon National Park offers a unique opportunity to study changes in vegetation through a vegetation ecology project initiated in the late 1950s by Hayle Buchanan (Buchanan, 1960). Buchanan's permanent vegetation plots were designed with the intent to assess changing conditions and trends over time. Interim studies of the permanent plots were conducted in 1969-1970 (Buchanan, 1960), in 1978-1980 (Buchanan and Harper 1981), and again in 1990-1992 (McKnight and Buchanan 1993, final report 1998). The permanent plots were surveyed again in the summer of 2007 to repeat this research a 5th time in order to provide a quantitative description and a pictorial record of plant successional changes over the last 50 years.

Objectives of the 5th survey:
1) Compiling data from the previous surveys
2) Re-survey in the summer of 2007
3) Provide a quantitative description of plant successional changes over the last 50 years
4) Provide a digital pictorial record showing changes in landscapes and plant communities over time

Northern Arizona UniversityNational Parks ServiceMerriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research
© 2007 Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research