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The Effects of Climate Change and Atmospheric Deposition on Forested Watersheds

An update from Huntington Forest

We have enhanced our ability to evaluate biogeochemical responses of forested watersheds due to changes in climate and atmospheric deposition. We have been able to use the Arbutus Watershed at the Huntington Forest to evaluate the importance of winter processes as well as drought in affecting solute transformations and fluxes. huntingtonWe have continued ongoing, long-term measurements of wet deposition of major solutes (NADP/NTN), dry deposition and ozone (CASTNET), wet deposition of mercury (MDN) and climate. For further information on these monitoring efforts see:


The Huntington Forest/Arbutus Lake Watershed system which has the longest historical records and the most extensive infrastructure of any site for looking at the effects of atmospheric deposition and climatic influences on ecosystem/watershed responses in the Adirondack Mountains. Arbutus Lake is also the only ALTM (Adirondack Long-Term Monitoring) watershed with hydrological and weekly chemical measurements. We have used a combination of chemical mass balances, isotopic evaluations, statistical determinations and modeling (PnET-BGC) to evaluate acid deposition and mercury policies on ecosystems. We are using data from atmospheric deposition measurements at the Huntington Forest (HF) combined with hydrology, chemistry and isotopic measurements from Arbutus Lake outlet, Archer Creek Watershed (the major inlet of Arbutus Lake) and two small headwater subcatchments of Archer Creek that have distinct differences in Ca availability. These differences have made these subcatchments ideal for evaluating vegetation/soil/watershed relationships associated with exchangeable nutrient cation depletion. These results are being placed in the context of other intensive and extensive analyses of vegetation and soil components and processes. These analyses are available as part of the historical data base of Huntington Forest (HF)/Arbutus Watershed that has been used for evaluating the influences of atmospheric deposition and climate on key biogeochemical processes. For a listing of publications see:


The integration of watershed measurements within the Arbutus Watershed is also being facilitated by the availability of a real time measurement system developed as the major thrust of the NSF MRI project and currently results to the general community are provided on the World Wide Web at: