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Past Highlights

Shoestrings at the 53rd Annual HB Cooperators meeting | July 13-14, 2016

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

Recruiting Grad Students and Summer Interns | Summer 2015 start.

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

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

2014 Field Season Underway! Read more at the field crew's blog.

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 and defends thesis, Soil Nutrients Affect Sweetness of Maple Sap, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY, April 8, 2014.

Research Spotlight

Nathan Donato

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.

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


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. 

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. 

Annual Meeting

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

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. 

Soil N&P Availability

Melany Fisk provides the initial assessments of nutrient availability.

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


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. 

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