Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests

Peter M. Groffman, Charles T Driscoll, Jorge Durán, John L. Campbell, Lynn M. Christenson, Timothy J. Fahey, Melany C. Fisk, Colin Fuss, Gene E. Likens, Gary Lovett, Lindsey Rustad, Pamela H. Templer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While much research over the past 30 years has focused on the deleterious effects of excess N on forests and associated aquatic ecosystems, recent declines in atmospheric N deposition and unexplained declines in N export from these ecosystems have raised new concerns about N oligotrophication, limitations of forest productivity, and the capacity for forests to respond dynamically to disturbance and environmental change. Here we show multiple data streams from long-term ecological research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, USA suggesting that N oligotrophication in forest soils is driven by increased carbon flow from the atmosphere through soils that stimulates microbial immobilization of N and decreases available N for plants. Decreased available N in soils can result in increased N resorption by trees, which reduces litterfall N input to soils, further limiting available N supply and leading to further declines in soil N availability. Moreover, N oligotrophication has been likely exacerbated by changes in climate that increase the length of the growing season and decrease production of available N by mineralization during both winter and spring. These results suggest a need to re-evaluate the nature and extent of N cycling in temperate forests and assess how changing conditions will influence forest ecosystem response to multiple, dynamic stresses of global environmental change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBiogeochemistry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 12 2018

Fingerprint

Hardwoods
Nitrogen
Soils
nitrogen
environmental change
soil
Ecosystems
ecosystem response
resorption
litterfall
temperate forest
Aquatic ecosystems
aquatic ecosystem
immobilization
forest ecosystem
forest soil
growing season
mineralization
disturbance
Carbon

Keywords

  • Carbon
  • Climate change
  • Dissolved organic carbon
  • Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
  • Nitrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Groffman, P. M., Driscoll, C. T., Durán, J., Campbell, J. L., Christenson, L. M., Fahey, T. J., ... Templer, P. H. (Accepted/In press). Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests. Biogeochemistry, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-018-0445-y

Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests. / Groffman, Peter M.; Driscoll, Charles T; Durán, Jorge; Campbell, John L.; Christenson, Lynn M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fisk, Melany C.; Fuss, Colin; Likens, Gene E.; Lovett, Gary; Rustad, Lindsey; Templer, Pamela H.

In: Biogeochemistry, 12.05.2018, p. 1-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Groffman, PM, Driscoll, CT, Durán, J, Campbell, JL, Christenson, LM, Fahey, TJ, Fisk, MC, Fuss, C, Likens, GE, Lovett, G, Rustad, L & Templer, PH 2018, 'Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests', Biogeochemistry, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-018-0445-y
Groffman PM, Driscoll CT, Durán J, Campbell JL, Christenson LM, Fahey TJ et al. Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests. Biogeochemistry. 2018 May 12;1-17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-018-0445-y
Groffman, Peter M. ; Driscoll, Charles T ; Durán, Jorge ; Campbell, John L. ; Christenson, Lynn M. ; Fahey, Timothy J. ; Fisk, Melany C. ; Fuss, Colin ; Likens, Gene E. ; Lovett, Gary ; Rustad, Lindsey ; Templer, Pamela H. / Nitrogen oligotrophication in northern hardwood forests. In: Biogeochemistry. 2018 ; pp. 1-17.
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