Disturbance Affects Relationship between the Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles

Carbon and nitrogen are always on the move. Both elements are versatile – they are constantly being converted from one form to another, and are required by all living things. “Because plants, animals, and microbes also require fixed ratios of the two elements, carbon and nitrogen’s chemical cycles are inherently linked,” says U.S. Forest Service…  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 

Flowers on the Forest Floor: Herbaceous Contributions to Ecosystem Processes

Plant diversity in eastern U.S. forests comes not only from trees, but from the ferns, wildflowers, and other herbaceous plants on the forest floor.  Some researchers have found that as much as 90 percent of plant diversity is due to these understory species. “Until recently, not much was known about the role these plants play…  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