Forests, Farms, or Houses?

Molecules relentlessly cycle from one form to another. “Simple human activities, such as building homes, can affect these cycles,” says U.S. Forest Service research soil scientist Jennifer Knoepp. For example, trees growing near streams affect the way nitrogen and other nutrients move from the land to the water. “Riparian zones play a critical role in…  More 

For Loblolly Pines, A Fertilization and Water Scarcity Paradox

Driving down a country road or even an interstate highway in many areas of the South, one cannot help but notice them: the straight rows of pine trees, sometimes as far as the eye can see, that make up the 20 million acres of planted pines in the region. Eighty percent of these trees are…  More 

Finding the Nitrogen: Modeling Forest Fertilizer Runoff

Pine forests in the southeastern United States are more productive than ever, and fertilizers can take some of the credit. But not all fertilizer goes toward plant growth. Some of it runs off into rivers and streams, where it can degrade water quality. A number of water quality models are available  to predict fertilizer runoff. A…  More 

Where Does the Nitrogen from Forest Fertilizers Go?

Pine plantations cover vast areas in the nearly flat, poorly drained high-water-table soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. Growing productive forests on these lands requires drainage and extra nitrogen from fertilizers. While most of the nitrogen from fertilizers remains in the plant-soil system, concerns exist that leached nitrogen could enter…  More