Soil processes and sulfate loss at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

S. C. Nodvin, C. T. Driscoll, G. E. Likens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study was designed to evaluate element flux and cycling in a northern hardwood forest and the effects of disturbance on these processes. In the original experiment, an entire watershed was deforested and regrowth was inhibited for three years using herbicides. Initial effects of the treatment included: elevated stream discharge, large increases in streamwater solute concentrations and elevated losses of those ions from the watershed. In contrast, streamwater concentrations and net ecosystem output of sulfate decreased in response to the treatment. During the post treatment period, the concentrations of most dissolved ions declined relative to a reference watershed while, again in contrast, sulfate concentrations increased relative to the reference. In this paper we develop a hypothesis which links acidification and sulfate adsorption processes in the soil to explain the observed trends in sulfate losses from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • Sulfur cycling
  • clear cutting
  • stream chemistry
  • sulfate adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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