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Highlights Previous Highlights:

Shoestrings at the 56th Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 10-11, 2019. -Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 55th Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 11-12, 2018. - Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 54th Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 13-14, 2017. - Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 53rd Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 14-15, 2016. - Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 52nd Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 8-10, 2015. - Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 51th Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 9-11, 2014. - Slideshows

Shoestrings at the 50th Annual HB Cooperators meeting. July 10-11, 2013 - Slideshows

    • NY Society of American Forester Annual meeting, Syracuse, NY, January 24-26, 2019

      • Dillion, G., M. Mahoney, S. Chase, and M. Johnston. Nutritional impacts on invasive beech scale quantification, in beech bark disease aftermath forests. PDF
      • Rice, A.M., M.A. Vadeboncoeur, and R.D. Yanai. Which soil nutrient pools explain forest characteristics? PDF
      • Young, A., M. Gabriel, and R.D. Yanai. Detecting nutrient limitation from the sky. PDF
    • Presenations at the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) All Scientists' Meeting, Asilomar Conference Center, CA, September 30 - October 4, 2018

      • Vadeboncoeur, M.A., K.A. Jennings, M.S. Morley, L.E. Rustad, C.D. McIntire, L.M. Brigham, R.D. Yanai, and H. Asbjornsen. "Teacomposition" in three global change experiments at HBR. PDF
      • Hong, D. and R.D. Yanai. Foliar analysis of four northern hardwood species indicates nutrient limitation. PDF
      • Young, A.R., M. Gabriel, and R.D. Yanai. Detecting nutrient limitation from the sky. PDF
  • Tom Horton's presentation at the International Mycological Association 11, San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 16-21, 2018

  • Research opportunites for high school students. Sign up for a free research course, ESF296, and work with the Multiple Element Limitation in Northern Hardwood Ecosystems (MELNHE) project. PDF

  • Shan Shan's presentation at 2018 ESA Annual Meeting, New Orleans PPT

  • Spotlight on Student Research. April 24, 2018. SUNY ESF

    • Morley, M.S., G.E. Walsh, and R.D. Yanai. Overachieve and retain the leaves: Nutrients affect fall leaf retention in norhtern hardwood species. PDF
    • Hong, D.S., K.E. Gonzales, and R.D. Yanai. Foliar analysis of five northern hardwood species indicates nutrient limitation. PDF
    • Barkley, M., S. Kirkpatrick, R.D. Yanai, W. Miller, and A.R. Young. Tardigrade response to nitrogen and phosphorus addition. PDF

tea composition initiative first publication

  • COOL new findings: Goswami S, M.C. Fisk, M.A. Vadeboncoeur, M. Johnston, R.D. Yanai, and T.J. Fahey. 2017. Phosphorus limitation of aboveground production in northern hardwood forests. Ecology, DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2100.
    • Tree growth responded more to P addition than to N addition in mid-aged and mature stands (p=0.02). These results are surprising because temperate forests on glaciated soils have been presumed to be N- limited, but they are consistent with predictions of the MEL model, parameterized for our experimental conditions (Rastetter et al. 2013). We can speculate that P limitation is a result of decades of anthropogenic N deposition.
  • 44th Annual Rochester Academy of Sciences Fall Scientific Paper Session.  November 11, 2017, St. John Fisher College.

  • Hong, D.S., A.D. Wild, and R.D. Yanai.  Battle of the babies: Beech interference with maple regeneration. PDF

  • Lasser, G.A., M.T. Johnston, M.J. Mahoney,  V.A. Leimanis, and J.R. Stoodley.  An investigation of nutritional effects on causal organisms of beech bark disease in aftermath forests. PDF

  • Morley, M., C. Sosa, R.D. Yanai.  Time for tea: Nutrient affect on tea decomposition after three-month incubation in northern hardwood forest soils. PDF
  • Rice, A.M., M.T. Johnston, and R.D. Yanai.  Do nutrient additions affect sap flow in sugar maple trees? PDF
  • Young, A.R., R.D. Yanai, R. Minocha, and S. Long.   Specific leaf area and amino acids respond  to nutrient amendments and canopy depth. PDF


  • ASA Annual Meeting presentation. October 23, 2017. Yanai, R.D., Gonzales, K.E., Goswami, S., Li, S., Fisk, M.C., and Fahey, T.J. N vs P Limitation: A Factorial Fertilization Experiment in Temperate Hardwood Forests.


Congratulations Kara! Watch Kara Gonzales' capstone presentation: Effects of CA, N and P fertilization on foliar nutrient dynamics of three northern hardwood tree species. January 26, 2017. Watch video

Presentation at the 2015 Soil Science Society of America meeting:

During the Biological Weathering Symposium, Dr. Ruth Yanai gave a presentation entitled "Comparison of Current and Long-Term Ca Weathering Rates in the White Mountains of New Hampshire."

RAHSS featured in the ESF2014-15 Annual Report, Oct 22, 2015

ESF undergraduate Madison Morley presents at SUNY ESF and Cobleskill, 2016



MELNHE featured at 2015 Central New York Science & Engineering Fair, Mar 22, 2015. Max Charlamb, a 9th grader at Manlius Pebble Hill School in Dewitt, NY, has been working with Dr. Ruth Yanai, through a Research Assistantship for High School Students supplement to analyze project data. His poster entitled "Is phosphorus more limiting than nitrogen to foliar production in Northern Hardwood Forests" earned High Honors in the Senior Division (grades 9-12). He concluded that data do not support the hypothesis that foliage production would increase with P application more than with N. At the older sites, litter production seemed limited by N availability. The CNYSEF accepts projects from students in grades 4-12 from public, private and independent schools and homeschooled students in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Cayuga and Cortland counties. The Fair is one of several annual STEM competitions administered through the Museum of Science and Technology, located in downtown Syracuse's historic Armory Square.

Research Program for High School Students enrolling for the 2015-16 School Year, for students attending ESF in the High School partner schools. While enrollment is a rolling basis, 40 hours in the ESF's Forest Ecology Lab must be completed by the end of the academic year. Work sessions are scheduled most weekends, and during a number of school breaks. Participants work with Dr. Ruth Yanai, her graduate students and undergraduate Research Aides, and with students in city and suburban districts.

Former Tech puts MELNHE background to work in Home School Program.

First Sign of Foliar Nutrient Response to Fertilization. Adam Wild provided a project update at the spring Hubbard Brook Committee of Scientists, April 22, 2014. Sugar maple foliage shows the effect of N and P addition at Jeffers Brook. The CaSiO3 addition resulted in higher Si but not higher Ca in foliage at all sites.

Adam Wild presents capstone (below) and defends thesis, Soil Nutrients Affect Sweetness of Maple Sap, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY, April 8, 2014.


Research Spotlight. Senior Conservation Biology major Nathan Donato presented his independent research project "Influence of Soil Calcium and Stand Age on the Structure and Functional Diversity of Arthropods: A Case Study in Two Northern Hardwood Stands " at SUNY ESF's annual Spotlight on Student Research, the April 16, 2014. The two sites were represented by the MELNHE plots at Bartlett and Jeffers Brook. Nathan found that arthropod richness and Shannon-diversity (functional groups were used instead of species level) were highest in the mature Bartlett plots, although overall arthropod abundance was higher in mid-age Bartlett stands. He worked with the interdepartmental team of Cheryl Bondi, a PhD candidate in the Graduate Program in Environmental Science; Melissa Fierke, an Associate Professor (Entomology) in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology; and Colin Beier, a Research Associate (Ecology) in the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management.

Franklin Diggs' Capstone Seminar, Contrasting Mycorrhizal Guilds through the Soil Profile, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY, January 9, 2014. He successfully defended the thesis, and is feverishly working to complete that document.

Craig See's Capstone Seminar, Soil nitrogen affects foliar phosphorus resorption in a co-limited system, to the Department of Forest and Natural Resources, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY, November 13, 2013. He also has defended, submitted his thesis, and started as our part-time short-term Research Support Specialist. Congrats on all counts, Craig, especially that MS!

McLin presents at HB REU meeting, August 2013. Megan McLin, Tougaloo College, was a late addition to the crew, so her project wasn't included among those discussed at the Annual Cooperators Meeting. Her project was near enough to completion to be included in the HB REU meeting that followed (below).


She continued to develop her results, entered a report in the Tougaloo Undergraduate Research Symposium. She took home 2nd place and $50. The judging was based on topic, quality of research methods etc, captivation of audience and knowledge of research. Congrats, Megan!

Fisk promotes MELNHE, Hubbard Brook Long Term Ecological Research (HB-LTER) Mid-Term Review, June 27, 2013. Download Powerpoint show HERE

Poster: Zahor,. Lily E., Michele L. Pruyn, Mark B. Green,Geoff Wilson. 2013. The Impact of Calcium on Transpiration in an Acid Rain Impacted Forest. Plymouth State University Office of Research & Engagement Student Showcase, April 27, 2013. Abstract: Acid rain has impacted New England forest for over 60 years. Acid deposition causes calcium to leach from soils, which is problematic for forests because calcium is broadly important to healthy plant function. We applied calcium fertilizer in the form of wollastonite (CaSiO3) ,attempting to replace leached Ca. Previous forest responses to wollastonite application have shown increased health, growth, and survivorship in hardwoods. Through a whole watershed experiment, it was shown that Ca addition can temporarily increase forest water uptake. However, the mechanisms behind this response remain uncertain. Tree transpiration can be measured by monitoring sap flow volumes. Using the Granier method, a heated probe is inserted in the sapwood above a reference probe enabling the calculation of sap flux. New England are primarily northern deciduous, dominated by American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). Our research goal was to study sap flow in these species to determine whether adding Ca will increase tree transpiration and productivity across sites in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Summer 2012 preliminary data showed an increased sap flow at a Ca treated versus control sites in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Continued study is underway for the 2013 season with two additional sites of differing levels of available Ca in their soils. Understanding how forests react to replacement of lost Ca via wollastonite will help land managers understand the impacts of acid rain on forest function and develop appropriate management strategies.

Read more about the Multiple Element Limitation model in: Rastetter, E. B., R. D. Yanai, R. Q. Thomas, M. A. Vadeboncoeur, T. J. Fahey, M. C. Fisk, B. L. Kwiatkowski, and S. P. Hamburg. 2013. Recovery from disturbance requires resynchronization of ecosystem nutrient cycles. Ecological Applications 23:621–642. In print HERE

Nitrogen and phosphorus (P) are tightly cycled in most terrestrial ecosystems, with plant uptake more than 10 times higher than the rate of supply from deposition and weathering. This near-total dependence on recycled nutrients and the stoichiometric constraints on resource use by plants and microbes mean that the two cycles have to be synchronized such that the ratio of N:P in plant uptake, litterfall, and net mineralization are nearly the same. Disturbance can disrupt this synchronization if there is a disproportionate loss of one nutrient relative to the other. We model the resynchronization of N and P cycles following harvest of a northern hardwood forest. In our simulations, nutrient loss in the harvest is small relative to postharvest losses. More info

The Calcium Project's quantitative pit method featured by the popular press arm of the Soil Science Society of America! Vadeboncoeur, M.A., S.P. Hamburg, J.D. Blum,M.J. Pennino, R.D. Yanai, and C.E. Johnson. 2012. The quantitative soil pit method for measuring belowground carbon and nitrogen stocks. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 76(6) in press doi:10.2136/sssaj2012.0111 was highlighted in the November issue of CSA News. See former student Paul Lilly in a pit on page 15. More Info

Annual Meeting. The MELNHE group presented on many phases of research at the 2012 Hubbard Brook Cooperator's Meeting, July 11, 2012. More Info

Sap Flow Results. Virginia Hernandez-Santana and Heidi Asbjornsen measured sap flow summer 2011 in beech, maple, and birch trees at Hubbard Brook (mature) and Bartlett (C8) in control, N, P, and N+P treatments. Posted 3/20/12. More Info

Soil N&P Availability. Melany Fisk provides the initial assessments of nutrient availability HERE 

Northern Forest Research featured at U Ohio-Miami. Dr. Melany Fisk, Associate Professor of Zoology, and Ph.D. candidate Shinjini Goswami describe their research in the New Hampshire's northern hardwood forest in September, 2011. Posted 2/17/12. Video and Transcript

Recruiting Interns and Graduate Students. Revised 2/21/12. More Info

Differentiating soil respiration between roots and decomposers. Kikang Bae compared the soil respiration between trenched and untrenched plots in Jeffers Brook (most fertile), Hubbard Brook (intermediate), and Bartlett (C6 and C9, least fertile) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Posted 12/21/11. More Info

Wollastonite application, and installation of soil moisture probes: The last of the wollastonite was applied Friday, November 11, 2011-- right on schedule. More Info

Evaluating rotary cores for sampling exchangeable cations, carbon, and nitrogen in rocky soils. A summary of Carrie Rose Levine's thesis project. December 06, 2011. More info

Maps. Matt Vadeboncoeur, who produced project maps for the Calcium Project, has updated maps for the multiple elements now being evaluated for their potential to be co-limiting. Now that plot locations have been finalized, maps of what's within each plot (i.e., baskets, collars, MRs, and soil-sampling subplots) will be underway. Login to view individual maps.

Nutrient resorption results.Before trees drop their leaves each fall, trees withdraw (or resorb) nutrients from them. What percentage? Do all species resorb at the same rate? Craig See has the preliminary results from this investigation. July 05, 2011. More info

MELNHE at the HBEF Meeting, July 6-7, 2011. This project will be well represented at the 48th (!) Annual Cooperator's Meeting of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, hosted at the Robert S. Pierce Laboratory, Hubbard Brook Experiemntal Forest, Woodstock, NH. Presentations address: Finally funded and fertilizing: Predicting tree growth rates in response to altered N and P availability in the Shoestring Study (Shinjini Goswami, doctoral student, Miami Univeristy); Chop it down: Reducing uncertainty in tree height measurements (Lin Liu, undergraduate student, ESF and Sichuan University); Young and old stands differ in N vs. P resorption from leaves, consistent with MEL model predictions (Craig See, masters student, ESF); The Shoestring Satellite Experiment: N, P, and what about K? (Mariann Johnston, Assistant Professor, Forest Technology Program, ESF); Beech bark disease, past and future (Christy Tanner, REU student, Linfield College); Nutrient additions affect ecosystem water use: Plans for measuring sap flow in trees (Neal Smeltzer, undergraduate student, Colorado College); Nutrient availability affects soil respiration and belowground carbon allocation in northern hardwood forest of the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Kikang Bae, doctoral student, ESF); Popsicle sticks and filter papers: Plans for cellulose and lignin decomposition experiments (Amos Lim, undergraduate student, ESF); Mycorrhizal colonization of roots: soil depth and species composition (Franklin Diggs, master's student, ESF). There is also one project poster: Why is soil respiration higher in urban forests than rural forests? (Russell Auwae, doctoral student, Miami University). Stay tuned as these presentations become new MELNHE Research Highlights! Several collaborators will present work from concurrent projects during this jam packed meeting. Schedule.
Team members please note: Shoestring Meeting at the Hubbard Brook Cooperators Meeting, Thursday July 7, 1:30pm in the lunch room.

Field Season is in full swing! Please visit the "Summer on a Shoestring" blog for first hand accounts on height measurements, fertilization, minirhizotron measurements, as well as on cultural exchanges. June 17, 2011. More info

Pre-treatment soils results. In order to know what affect this summer's fertilization scheme has on plant development, we also need to know what the nutrient status of the sites were before application. Melany Fisk reports pre-treatment data. June 17, 2011. More info

Parameterizing the MEL Model. In the first year of the project, Dr. Ed Rastetter developed parameters to run the MEL model for New England hardwood forests using Hubbard Brook data sets and feedback during many conferences with collaborators. The model simulated N, P and N plus P fertilization in a young (30 yr old) and a mature (80 yr old) forest recovering from bole-only harvests. The model predicts short- and long-term plant growth response, soil organic matter accumulation and assimilation, as well as microbial activity. June 17, 2011. More Info

Supplemental Funding. Our requests for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Opportunity Award (ROA) have been recommended for funding this summer. Kelly Nywening, a junior Forest and Natural Resources Management major at SUNY-ESF, has begun her Research Experience project looking at tree inventory data, and Mark Green, Assistant Professor of Hydrology at Plymouth State University, and USFS Research Hydrologist will be joining the project with ROA support. Dr. Green will be investigating the soil moisture response to calcium fertilzation. April 14, 2011. More info

Soil respiration in young and old stands in northern hardwood forests, NH. Kikang Bae measured soil respiration for two growing seasons to investigate differences in Jeffers Brook (most fertile), Hubbard Brook (intermediate), and Bartlett (C6 and C9, least fertile) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Posted 4/11/11. More Info

Nitrification and N mineralization at Bartlett. Carrie Rose Levine documents pre-treatment procedures and results that indicate that there are no significant differences between the future fertilization treatments (N, P, NxP, control) when blocked by site. This assures researches that any differences observed following upcoming treatments are the results of the randomly assigned treatments rather than artifacts of preexisting differences. April 01, 2011. More Info

Ruth was inteviewed for a Popular Science magazine article.