Chemical Clues to a Forest’s Past in Nitrogen Isotope Ratios

From the depths of the soil to the top of the atmosphere, nitrogen is everywhere. It is also indispensable to plants and animals. The vast majority of nitrogen atoms contain the same number of uncharged particles. However, a few atoms are ‘stable’ isotopes that have one extra uncharged particle. Although the extra particle adds a miniscule…  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