The SCBI Dynamics Plot is located at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center facility in Front Royal, VA, adjacent to the northern end of Shenandoah National Park. It lies at the intersection of three of the major physiographic provinces of the eastern US: the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Piedmont provinces. The forest type is typical mature secondary eastern mixed deciduous forest, with a canopy dominated by tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), hickories (Carya spp.), and oaks (Quercus spp.), and an understory composed mainly of eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), paw-paw (Asimina triloba), and American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana).

Installation and census work began on the plot in May 2008, and as of December 2008 tagging and censusing of all woody stems >1 cm dbh on the plot has been completed; work to finish species identifications and stem mapping is ongoing. About 55,000 such stems are present, belonging to 61 species of trees/shrubs and 7 species of woody vines. The plot also contains a 4-ha fenced exclosure where white-tailed deer have been excluded since 1990, as well as three 1-ha Smithsonian Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program (SI-MAB) plots, all of which have been censused one to several times since 1990. Current plans are to finish mapping and identifications on the entire plot by September 2009, and continue collecting data for the CTFS Forest Carbon Research Initiative in 2009.
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