Carbon Uptake Exceeds Expectations

Harvard Forest LTER
Photo shows the NEON and EMS towers as viewed from the Harvard Forest walk-up tower. Contradictory to theoretical models, forest carbon uptake has accelerated over recent decades in maturing forests, a legacy of 19th century land use, and to a lesser degree, modern increases in atmospheric CO2, nitrogen deposition, temperature, and precipitation. This and many... Read more »

Hemlock is a Foundation Species

Harvard Forest LTER
The hemlock forest, as seen from the Woods Road to the tower. Three decades of research on abrupt declines in pre-European hemlock populations, long term regional measurements of hemlock decline from the invasive insect hemlock woolly adelgid, and the long term Hemlock Removal Experiment confirm that hemlocks are a foundation species. They control forest structure,... Read more »

Microbes Respond to Global Change

Harvard Forest LTER
The soil warming plots at Harvard Forest viewed from atop an adjacent research tower. Decades of experimental soil warming and nitrogen enrichment have induced adaptive responses in microbial communities, abruptly shifting soil carbon dynamics. The experiments have revealed phased responses to warming, oscillating between multi year periods of significant soil carbon loss and phases of... Read more »

Spring is Arriving Earlier

Harvard Forest LTER
Postdoctoral fellow David Basler releases his drone from the top of Harvard Forest's walk-up tower. Over the last 30 years, spring phenology has advanced across eastern North America, increasing photosynthesis and net ecosystem carbon storage, with a small negative feedback to climate change. Beginning in 1990 as a biannual pen-and-paper record of bud break and... Read more »