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  1. Abstract
    These data are from four separate projects undertaken between 1997 and 2017. The first of these are two snow manipulation (freeze) projects: 1) In 1997, as part of a study of the relationships between snow depth, soil freezing and nutrient cycling, we established eight 10 x 10-m plots located within four stands; two dominated (80%) by sugar maple (SM1 and SM2) and two dominated by yellow birch(YB1 and YB2), with one snow reduction (shoveling) and one reference plot in each stand. 2) In 2001, we established eight new 10-m x 10-m plots (4 treatment, 4 reference) in four new sites; two high elevation, north facing and (East Kineo and West Kineo) two low elevation, south facing (Upper Valley and Lower Valley) maple-beech-birch stands. To establish plots, we cleared minor amounts of understory vegetation from all (both treatment and reference) plots (to facilitate shoveling). Treatments (keeping plots snow free by shoveling through the end of January) were applied in the winters of 1997/98, 1998/99, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. The Climate Gradient Project was established in October 2010. Here we evaluated relationships between snow depth, soil freezing and nutrient cycling along an elevation/aspect gradient that created variation in climate with little variationMore>>
  2. Ice storms are important but understudied disturbances that influence forest structure and function. In 1998, an ice storm damaged forest canopies and led to increased hydrologic losses of nitrogen (N) from the northern hardwood forest at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in New Hampshire, USA. To evaluate the mechanisms underlying this response, we experimentally simulated ice storms with different frequencies and severities at the small plot scale. We took measurements of plant and soil variables before (2015) and after (2016, 2017) treatments using the same methods used in 1998 with a focus on hydrologic and gaseous losses of reactive N, as well as rates of soil N cycle processes. Nitrogen cycle responses to the treatments were insignificant and less marked than the responses to the 1998 natural ice storm. Pools and leaching of inorganic N, net and gross mineralization and nitrification and denitrification rates, and soil to atmosphere fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O) were unaffected by the treatments, in contrast to the 1998 storm which caused marked increases in leaching and watershed export of inorganic N. The difference in response may be a manifestation of N oligotrophication that has occurred at the HBEFmore »over the past 30 years. Results suggest that ecosystem response to disturbances, such as ice storms, is changing due to aspects of global environmental change, challenging our ability to understand and predict the effects of these events on ecosystem structure, function, and services.« less