University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDE)

University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDE)

89.561 W, 46.235 N

UNDE is both a NEON site, sampled by Jordan Luongo in 2018, and a Macrosystems site, sampled by Mike Dietze’s lab as part of our study of climate change and demography.  Both sampling efforts are summarized here.  NEON has shortened the UNDERC acronym to UNDE.

The University of Notre Dame has owned the UNDE property since the 1940s. This includes the entire watersheds of 12 of the 30 lakes providing a unique opportunity for research on aquatic ecosystems that are not subject to disturbance by the public. The UNDERC property straddles the WI-MI state line. It is bounded on three sides by the Ottawa National Forest.

Average temperatures in January range from  -20°C to -10°C and in July from 16°C to 21°C. Relative humidity during July averages 60 to 70%. Annual precipitation ranges between 500 mm and 1000 mm of snow and rain. Natural disturbance is primarily winds out of the southwest. Soils are coarse, loamy and mixed. Drainage is poor, and soils have a reduced capability for cation exchange leaving them susceptible to acidification and formation of bogs.

Northern mesic hardwood forest is mostly second-growth, consisting mainly of aspen-birch, pine or swamp conifer with some hemlock, red and sugar maple.

Istem Fer, Mike Dietze

2013 –

The dominant species in the plots established by Dietze Lab are quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), followed by red maple (Acer rubrum), white spruce (Picea glauca), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), with fewer American basswood (Tilia americana) and American elm (Ulmus americana).

Two 1-ha plots are joined by a 0.5 ha buffer strip to form a single 2.5 ha study area. Experimental canopy gaps were created in 2013 in the center of each north and south plot. Seed rain data have been collected since 2013 from 50 seed traps in the plots.

Jordan Luongo


under construction…