Howland Forest

This 558 acre tract of mature, lowland evergreen forest is located in central Maine, west of the town of Howland.

The forest canopy is dominated by Red Spruce, Eastern Hemlock, and White Cedar trees dating to pre-Civil war.

The tract has has escaped the mechanized logging that characterizes the northern forests of Maine. This land was designated as a research forest in 1986 by the former owner, International Paper.

The forest has been host to researchers studying impacts of acid rain on ecosystems, and most recently for studies on how forests remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it as plant biomass.


More about Forest Ecosystem Research at Howland Forest...

U.S. Forest Service site for Howland Forest...

Woods Hole Research Center site and Howland Forest...

Smart Forests Technology at Howland Experimental Forest

The Howland Cooperating Experimental Forest is located ~60 km north of Bangor, Maine in a low elevation ommercial spruce fir forest ecosystem. Research at the site initially focused on nutrient cycling and soil ecology studies. In 1996 measurements of forest carbon uptake and loss (carbon sequestration studies) were begun as part of the AmeriFlux program, and Howland now has one of the longest records of carbon flux measurement in the world.


Howland is an important land validation site for NASA, first serving as a field site for the Forest Ecosystem Dynamics project and now operating as a core EOS and MODIS validation site as well as part of AERONET (aerosol optical depth network). It is also a test site for ongoing remote sensing studies of tree biomass and soil moisture, and its above-canopy webcam records daily images as part of the PHENOCAM phenology network, and the site records soil moisture as part of the COSMOS program.

Understanding Carbon Sequestration in
Howland Forest...

Access all Smart Forests locations via
map of Smart Forests...

Link to Map of Experimental Forests and Rangelands