This study area, which is namely GEF (Gwangneung Experimental Forest of NIFoS) is a well reserved forest in the central cool-temperate forest sub-zone of Korea.
This area was originally protected as a royal tomb forest for King Sejo during Josun Dynasty since 1468.
Most of the original protected area of 2,286ha was designated as an experimental forest of the National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) in 1913(FRI of the Government-General of Korea, 1932).
The Gwangneung Natural Forest Reserve near Mt. Soribong in GEF with area about 1,200ha has been protected from human activities. It mainly consists of unique old-growth forests composed of broad-leaved trees those are typical species of central cool-temperate forest sub-zone in Korea.
About 841 native plant species have been recorded in this area (KFRI, 1994), and it is home to some endangered and rare plant species including Cypripedium japonicum Thunb. C. macranthum Sw. (Orchidaceae). Dominating tree species are Quercus spp., Carpinus spp., Cornus spp. Acer spp. and Pinus densiflora.
At the Gwangneung Natural Forest Reserve area, we have set the 100m×100m permanent plot (core plot) and a flux tower to monitor the changes in forest ecosystem and carbon/energy fluxes from 1998 to 1999. This area was registered as a long-term ecological research(LTER) site in 1998 and KoFlux site in 2002.