Assessing the Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollution on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Northeastern U.S. Hardwood Forests

Model Setup and Evaluation

Salim Belyazid, Jennifer Phelan, Bengt Nihlgård, Harald Sverdrup, Charles T Driscoll, Ivan Fernandez, Julian Aherne, Leslie M. Teeling-Adams, Scott Bailey, Matt Arsenault, Natalie Cleavitt, Brett Engstrom, Robin Dennis, Dan Sperduto, David Werier, Christopher Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The integrated forest ecosystem model ForSAFE-Veg was used to simulate soil processes and understory vegetation composition at three—sugar maple, beech, yellow birch—hardwood forest sites in the Northeastern United States (one at Hubbard Brook, NH, and two at Bear Brook, ME). Input data were pooled from a variety of sources and proved coherent and consistent. While the biogeochemical component ForSAFE was used with limited calibration, the ground vegetation composition module Veg was calibrated to field relevés. Evaluating different simulated ecosystem indicators (soil solution chemistry, tree biomass, ground vegetation composition) showed that the model performed comparably well regardless of the site’s soil condition, climate, and amounts of nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) deposition, with the exception of failing to capture tree biomass decline at Hubbard Brook. The model performed better when compared with annual observation than monthly data. The results support the assumption that the biogeochemical model ForSAFE can be used with limited calibration and provide reasonable confidence, while the vegetation community composition module Veg requires calibration if the individual plant species are of interest. The study welcomes recent advances in empirically explaining the responses of hardwood forests to nutrient imbalances and points to the need for more research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Volume230
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Fingerprint

Hardwoods
Air pollution
Climate change
soil property
atmospheric pollution
Soils
climate change
vegetation
Calibration
calibration
Chemical analysis
Ecosystems
Biomass
biomass
bear
Sulfur
forest ecosystem
Nutrients
understory
community composition

Keywords

  • Bear Brook
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • ForSAFE-Veg
  • Hubbard Brook
  • Plant biodiversity
  • Vegetation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution

Cite this

Assessing the Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollution on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Northeastern U.S. Hardwood Forests : Model Setup and Evaluation. / Belyazid, Salim; Phelan, Jennifer; Nihlgård, Bengt; Sverdrup, Harald; Driscoll, Charles T; Fernandez, Ivan; Aherne, Julian; Teeling-Adams, Leslie M.; Bailey, Scott; Arsenault, Matt; Cleavitt, Natalie; Engstrom, Brett; Dennis, Robin; Sperduto, Dan; Werier, David; Clark, Christopher.

In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Vol. 230, No. 5, 106, 01.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Belyazid, S, Phelan, J, Nihlgård, B, Sverdrup, H, Driscoll, CT, Fernandez, I, Aherne, J, Teeling-Adams, LM, Bailey, S, Arsenault, M, Cleavitt, N, Engstrom, B, Dennis, R, Sperduto, D, Werier, D & Clark, C 2019, 'Assessing the Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollution on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Northeastern U.S. Hardwood Forests: Model Setup and Evaluation', Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, vol. 230, no. 5, 106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-019-4145-6
Belyazid, Salim ; Phelan, Jennifer ; Nihlgård, Bengt ; Sverdrup, Harald ; Driscoll, Charles T ; Fernandez, Ivan ; Aherne, Julian ; Teeling-Adams, Leslie M. ; Bailey, Scott ; Arsenault, Matt ; Cleavitt, Natalie ; Engstrom, Brett ; Dennis, Robin ; Sperduto, Dan ; Werier, David ; Clark, Christopher. / Assessing the Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollution on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Northeastern U.S. Hardwood Forests : Model Setup and Evaluation. In: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 2019 ; Vol. 230, No. 5.
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