In the fall of 1999, wollastonite (CaSiO3) was applied to a watershed at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF). This appears to have stimulated ~20% of additional transpiration for three years. This unexpected response has been recently studied by CFE’s Mark Green and colleagues. The physiological cause of the increased transpiration or the transience of the response are not well understood because detailed data addressing forest transpiration were not collected.
A new fertilization study is beginning at the HBEF, Bartlett Experimental Forest, and at Jeffers Brook on the impacts of additional nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium to forest dynamics. This study had not intended on collecting transpiration data, but given the recent discovery of the whole watershed transpiration response to wollastonite addition, Mark received funding from the National Science Foundation to fertilize forested research plots with wollastonite and collaborate with Michele Pruyn to collect sap flow data that will inform mechanisms responsible for the watershed 1 response to wollastonite addition.
This fall, a group of people from CFE, PSU, and Hubbard Brook worked with Mark on spreading over 9,500 pounds of wollastonite on 6 research plots. This involved hiking 50 pound bags to the sites and then applying the material by hand. The days were long and the work was hard. Thank you to everyone that helped!
- Establishment of Calcium Silicate Treatment Plots on the Forests at Hubbard Brook, Bartlett, and Jeffers Brook, by Mark Green, Plymouth State University and U.S. Forest Service, December 6, 2011