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Friday, October 18, 2013

Carbon and Water Dynamics in a Deciduous Clearcut

Chris Williams and eddy flux tower

A new Harvard Forest study released today in Global Change Biology provides the first detailed account of how carbon, water, and energy balances shift in the years following a clearcut of a broadleaf temperate forest.

Results show a steady loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the clearcut area, primarily from exposed soils and decaying wood. The cleared area will only become a significant "sink" for atmospheric carbon after a decade or more of regrowth.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Study: Carbon Age in Sprouting Trees

sprouting red maple stump

A comparative study of red maple trees at the Harvard Forest and at Bartlett Experimental Forest in New Hampshire sheds new light on how trees allocate carbon throughout their life cycle--including just after they have been cut. The researchers used radiocarbon dating to "age" the carbon in new sprouts that emerge from stumps when trees are harvested.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Change and Resilience in Northeast Forests

Slab City: 1890 and today

A joint Harvard Forest-Smithsonian study released today in PLOS ONE compares modern forests to their pre-colonial condition in a 9-state analysis of Northeastern forest change. More than 300,000 colonial-era "witness tree" records--never before analyzed at this scale--reveal that although the same types of trees are present today, the number and locations of these trees are dramatically different.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Field Trip for New England Foresters

NESAF field trip, August 2013

On August 24, twenty foresters representing every state in New England toured the Harvard Forest as part of the New England Society of American Foresters' silvicultural working group. Harvard Forest site coordinator and licensed forester Audrey Barker-Plotkin led the day-long tour.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Harvard Forest Study Named Among Most Influential

British Ecological Society - 100 Influential Papers

A list of 100 Influential Papers published by the British Ecological Society for its centennial celebration includes Harvard Forest director David Foster's 1992 study, "Land use history (1730-1990) and vegetation dynamics in central New-England USA" among the honorees.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Harvard Forest Is Hiring

Harvard Forest megaplot crew

Harvard Forest seeks to hire a scientist-ecologist, a post-doctoral research associate, and two skilled outdoor laborers. Browse our open positions.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's the Network: Decision-Making by Forest Landowners

Students interview landowners, 2012

A recent study led by Harvard Forest Policy Analyst David Kittredge reveals surprising trends in how private landowners--whose small holdings comprise the majority of forests in the eastern U.S.--make decisions about their land. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Study: Small Streams Transport Key Forest Nutrients

Bigelow Brook - upper pipe

Headwater streams--small tributaries in the outer reaches of a watershed--are the smallest parts of river networks. But collectively, they make up more than half the miles of flowing water in the U.S.  According to a new Harvard Forest study in the journal Ecosystems, headwater streams tell us volumes about the impacts of seasonal storms on forest ecosystems and water quality. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Study: Changing Atmosphere Boosts Water Efficiency in Trees

Tower fish-eye view

A study published today in the journal Nature, led by Harvard faculty member Andrew Richardson and post-doctoral fellow Trevor Keenan, uses more than 20 years of data from Harvard Forest research towers to explain how rising CO2 levels help trees use water more efficiently.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Students Share Summer Research Experiences

Harvard Forest Summer Research Program students

Canopy robots, urban heat islands, invasive insects, and underground root photography: our 25 summer students are all blogging about their independent projects in our Summer Research Program, underway now.

One student reports, "Recently, my friends and I climbed Mt. Greylock (the tallest mountain in Massachusetts), and like that climb, this summer has certainly been a challenge. I have learned more than I ever could in any class."