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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Abstract Forest and freshwater ecosystems are tightly linked and together provide important ecosystem services, but climate change is affecting their species composition, structure, and function. Research at nine US Long Term Ecological Research sites reveals complex interactions and cascading effects of climate change, some of which feed back into the climate system. Air temperature has increased at all sites, and those in the Northeast have become wetter, whereas sites in the Northwest and Alaska have become slightly drier. These changes have altered streamflow and affected ecosystem processes, including primary production, carbon storage, water and nutrient cycling, and community dynamics. At some sites, the direct effects of climate change are the dominant driver altering ecosystems, whereas at other sites indirect effects or disturbances and stressors unrelated to climate change are more important. Long-term studies are critical for understanding the impacts of climate change on forest and freshwater ecosystems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 16, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 10, 2023
  5. Microbial biomass is known to decrease with soil drying and to increase after rewetting due to physiological assimilation and substrate limitation under fluctuating moisture conditions, but how the effects of moisture changes vary between dry and wet environments is unclear. Here, we conducted a meta‐analysis to assess the effects of elevated and reduced soil moisture on microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) across a broad range of forest sites between dry and wet regions. We found that the influence of both elevated and reduced soil moisture on MBC and MBN concentrations in forest soils was greater in dry than in wet regions. The influence of altered soil moisture on MBC and MBN concentrations increased significantly with the manipulation intensity but decreased with the length of experimental period, with a dramatic increase observed under a very short‐term precipitation pulse. Moisture effect did not differ between coarse‐ and fine‐textured soils. Precipitation intensity, experimental duration, and site standardized precipitation index (dry or wet climate) were more important than edaphic factors (i.e., initial water content, bulk density, clay content) in determining microbial biomass in response to altered moisture in forest soils. Different responses of microbial biomass in forest soils between dry and wetmore »regions should be incorporated into models to evaluate how changes in the amount, timing and intensity of precipitation affect soil biogeochemical processes.« less
  6. Abstract
    Soil temperature and soil moisture have been measured at multiple locations at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), as part of a study of the relationships between snow depth, soil freezing and nutrient cycling (http://www.ecostudies.org/people_sci_groffman_snow_summary.html). In October 2010, we established 6, 20 x 20-m plots (intensive plots) and 14 10 x 10-m plots (extensive plots) along an elevation gradient, with eight of the plots on north-facing slopes and twelve on south-facing slopes. Soil temperature and soil moisture were measured at hourly intervals on these plots beginning in November 2010. Six locations were discontinued in September 2012 (E04, E05, E06, E11-B, E13, and E14). Previous versions of this dataset included both temperature and moisture. These data are now available as moisture(this dataset) and temperature (https://portal.edirepository.org/nis/mapbrowse?scope=knb-lter-hbr&identifier=315]. These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station.
  7. Abstract
    Soil temperature and soil moisture have been measured at multiple locations at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), as part of a study of the relationships between snow depth, soil freezing and nutrient cycling (http://www.ecostudies.org/people_sci_groffman_snow_summary.html). In October 2010, we established 6, 20 x 20-m plots (intensive plots) and 14 10 x 10-m plots (extensive plots) along an elevation gradient, with eight of the plots on north-facing slopes and twelve on south-facing slopes. Soil temperature and soil moisture were measured at hourly intervals on these plots beginning in November 2010. Six locations were discontinued in September 2012 (E04, E05, E06, E11-B, E13, and E14). Previous versions of this dataset included both temperature and moisture. These data are now available as temperature (this dataset) and moisture (https://portal.edirepository.org/nis/mapbrowse?scope=knb-lter-hbr&identifier=137). These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station.
  8. BACKGROUND The availability of nitrogen (N) to plants and microbes has a major influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Because N is an essential component of plant proteins, low N availability constrains the growth of plants and herbivores. To increase N availability, humans apply large amounts of fertilizer to agricultural systems. Losses from these systems, combined with atmospheric deposition of fossil fuel combustion products, introduce copious quantities of reactive N into ecosystems. The negative consequences of these anthropogenic N inputs—such as ecosystem eutrophication and reductions in terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity—are well documented. Yet although N availability is increasing in many locations, reactive N inputs are not evenly distributed globally. Furthermore, experiments and theory also suggest that global change factors such as elevated atmospheric CO 2 , rising temperatures, and altered precipitation and disturbance regimes can reduce the availability of N to plants and microbes in many terrestrial ecosystems. This can occur through increases in biotic demand for N or reductions in its supply to organisms. Reductions in N availability can be observed via several metrics, including lowered nitrogen concentrations ([N]) and isotope ratios (δ 15 N) in plant tissue, reduced rates of N mineralization, and reduced terrestrial Nmore »export to aquatic systems. However, a comprehensive synthesis of N availability metrics, outside of experimental settings and capable of revealing large-scale trends, has not yet been carried out. ADVANCES A growing body of observations confirms that N availability is declining in many nonagricultural ecosystems worldwide. Studies have demonstrated declining wood δ 15 N in forests across the continental US, declining foliar [N] in European forests, declining foliar [N] and δ 15 N in North American grasslands, and declining [N] in pollen from the US and southern Canada. This evidence is consistent with observed global-scale declines in foliar δ 15 N and [N] since 1980. Long-term monitoring of soil-based N availability indicators in unmanipulated systems is rare. However, forest studies in the northeast US have demonstrated decades-long decreases in soil N cycling and N exports to air and water, even in the face of elevated atmospheric N deposition. Collectively, these studies suggest a sustained decline in N availability across a range of terrestrial ecosystems, dating at least as far back as the early 20th century. Elevated atmospheric CO 2 levels are likely a main driver of declines in N availability. Terrestrial plants are now uniformly exposed to ~50% more of this essential resource than they were just 150 years ago, and experimentally exposing plants to elevated CO 2 often reduces foliar [N] as well as plant-available soil N. In addition, globally-rising temperatures may raise soil N supply in some systems but may also increase N losses and lead to lower foliar [N]. Changes in other ecosystem drivers—such as local climate patterns, N deposition rates, and disturbance regimes—individually affect smaller areas but may have important cumulative effects on global N availability. OUTLOOK Given the importance of N to ecosystem functioning, a decline in available N is likely to have far-reaching consequences. Reduced N availability likely constrains the response of plants to elevated CO 2 and the ability of ecosystems to sequester carbon. Because herbivore growth and reproduction scale with protein intake, declining foliar [N] may be contributing to widely reported declines in insect populations and may be negatively affecting the growth of grazing livestock and herbivorous wild mammals. Spatial and temporal patterns in N availability are not yet fully understood, particularly outside of Europe and North America. Developments in remote sensing, accompanied by additional historical reconstructions of N availability from tree rings, herbarium specimens, and sediments, will show how N availability trajectories vary among ecosystems. Such assessment and monitoring efforts need to be complemented by further experimental and theoretical investigations into the causes of declining N availability, its implications for global carbon sequestration, and how its effects propagate through food webs. Responses will need to involve reducing N demand via lowering atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, and/or increasing N supply. Successfully mitigating and adapting to declining N availability will require a broader understanding that this phenomenon is occurring alongside the more widely recognized issue of anthropogenic eutrophication. Intercalibration of isotopic records from leaves, tree rings, and lake sediments suggests that N availability in many terrestrial ecosystems has steadily declined since the beginning of the industrial era. Reductions in N availability may affect many aspects of ecosystem functioning, including carbon sequestration and herbivore nutrition. Shaded areas indicate 80% prediction intervals; marker size is proportional to the number of measurements in each annual mean. Isotope data: (tree ring) K. K. McLauchlan et al. , Sci. Rep. 7 , 7856 (2017); (lake sediment) G. W. Holtgrieve et al. , Science 334 , 1545–1548 (2011); (foliar) J. M. Craine et al. , Nat. Ecol. Evol. 2 , 1735–1744 (2018)« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 15, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023