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  1. Abstract
    Leaf angle distribution (LAD) measurements were made during the growing season in 2021 at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, USA, and in 2022 at the Thompson Farm Earth Systems Observatory in Durham, NH, USA. At both sites, a level-calibrated digital angle tool was used to measure LAD in upper canopy foliage of common northeastern temperate tree species accessed using a mobile canopy lift. Additionally, at Thompson Farm, measurements were made at multiple heights to characterize differences of LAD in high, middle, and low canopy positions. Here, we have published those measurements, including a summary table of species average leaf angles and calculated parameters for fitted beta distributions. Processing scripts can be made available upon request to the authors. Additionally, leaf chemical, physical, structure, optical and physiological traits have been measured at these site as well as canopy scale measures of structure and UAV-based spectral, thermal, and lidar imagery.
  2. Abstract
    This dataset is a compilation of leaf trait measurements for tree species in the northeastern United States collected between 2017 and 2022 by the Terrestrial Ecosystems Analysis Lab at the University of New Hampshire. Currently, this dataset contains 1351 samples, including 18 chemical, physical and structural traits collected across 25 different tree species. Traits include stable isotopes for carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), percent C and N, C:N ratio, total chlorophyll (chl), chl a, chl b, chl a:b ratio, leaf mass per area, average leaf dry mass, average leaf area, length, and width, leaf water content, average petiole length and petiole dry mass, and petiole water content. Traits have been measured at plots spanning a wide range of latitude, longitude, elevation, and forest types. A simple table containing these plot descriptions have been included. Leaf physiological and optical traits have been measured concurrently on many of these samples and published separately.
  3. Abstract
    Leaf temperature measurements were collected during the summer of 2020 within forested areas at the Thompson Farm Earth Systems Observatory in Durham, New Hampshire, USA. Located within the property is a registered Ameriflux site, Thompson Farm Forest (US-TFF), as well as experimental throughfall exclusion plots that are part of DroughtNet (experiment running since 2015). Leaf temperature measurements were made within the footprint of the eddy covariance flux tower as well as within both control and throughfall exclusion treatment plots. Upper canopy foliage was accessed using a bucket lift and in situ measurements made using a handheld thermal IR sensor. All data were paired with concurrent meteorological measurements from US-TFF or data from a co-located NOAA CRN station (NH Durham 2 SSW). Additionally, leaf chemical, physical, structure, and physiological traits have been measured at this site as well as canopy scale measures of structure and UAV-based spectral, thermal, and lidar imagery. Specific to this leaf temperature dataset, leaf-level light, temperature, and vpd photosynthetic response curves were measured.
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 10, 2023
  6. 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
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023