Calcium-Fertilized Forests Use More Water According to New PSU and Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study

April 1st, 2013 by June

Mark Green from CFE is lead author on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper summarized the results of a forest fertilization experiment that the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. The research showed that a forest fertilized with calcium grew faster and in doing so transpired, or evaporated through their leaves, more water than the control watershed. The difference was so great that streamflow substantially declined in the fertilized forest. This is interesting because the forest may have been limited by calcium due to the legacy of acid rain in the region. Also, it highlights an unintended consequence of forest fertilization. While the goal of fertilization is often to optimize biomass production, this practice may reduce water supplies in the process. CFE member Scott Bailey is a co-author of the paper.

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January 9th, 2013 by Michael

Center for the Environment

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