1999 Progress Report: Linking Watershed-Scale Indicators of Changes in Atmospheric Deposition to Regional Response patterns

EPA Grant Number: R825762
Title: Linking Watershed-Scale Indicators of Changes in Atmospheric Deposition to Regional Response patterns
Investigators: Kahl, Jeffrey , Cosby, Bernard , Fernandez, Ivan , Ludwig, P. , Mageean, Deirdre , Norton, Sharon , Rubin, J. , Rustad, Lindsey
Current Investigators: Kahl, Jeffrey , Ballard, S. , Cosby, Bernard , Fernandez, Ivan , Ludwig, P. , Mageean, Deirdre , Norton, Sharon , Rustad, Lindsey
Institution: University of Maine , University of Virginia
Current Institution: University of Maine
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through August 31, 2000 (Extended to September 30, 2001)
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 1998 through August 31, 1999
Project Amount: $623,395
RFA: Water and Watersheds Research (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Water and Watersheds

Objective:

Our present research objectives are to: (1) analyze the response (and forecast recovery) of the experimentally acidified watershed at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) by comparing geochemical model predictions with actual changes in indicators of response; (2) provide a regional context on trends and processes relating to atmospheric deposition and recovery by evaluating the temporal and spatial patterns in lake chemistry (especially NO3) from the population of high elevation lakes (HELM); (3) relate indices of soil biogeochemical status from BBWM and HELM watershed soil chemistry, to spatial and temporal patterns of N cycling, water quality, and forest productivity in forested watersheds of northern New England; (4) develop the findings of this research into a format that facilitates its use by policymakers, guiding them to the appropriate scientific information for their decisions; and (5) adjust the Tracking and Analysis Framework (TAF) model (Bloyd, et al., 1996), originally calibrated for the Adirondacks, for application in Maine. TAF is a reduced-form model that predicts the biotic and socioeconomic effects of acid deposition. This is a revised objective for work begun in 1999.

Progress Summary:

Watershed Response (Objectives 1 and 2). Results from BBWM and HELM indicate that declines in atmospheric deposition of sulfate have led directly and rapidly to widespread declines in sulfate concentrations at BBWM and HELM, similar to the response in the rest of the northeastern United States. However, the anticipated recovery (increase) in acid neutralization capacity (ANC) corresponding to the decline in sulfate has been minimal, and in some cases, acidification has accompanied the decline in sulfate. Nitrate concentrations have declined at BBWM, but not in HELM lakes.

Soils (Objective 3). Soil sampling was completed at BBWM in 1998, with soil sample preparation and analysis continuing through 1999. The BBWM soil sample set comprises a total of 312 soil samples (80 O horizons and 232 mineral soil horizon samples) from 80 soil pits (40 full pedon quantitative pits and 40 "mini" pits sampled to three increments only). There were also 69 E horizons sampled for physical measurements only, and 24 buried mineral soil bags that were installed at the beginning of the whole watershed study in the late 1980s. In 1999, 20 of the HELM watersheds were sampled with parallel design to BBWM. HELM soil sampling consisted of 288 soil pits that yielded 566 soil samples (288 O horizons and 278 mineral soil samples). Analyses completed include total C and N, air dried moisture content, pH, LOI, and physical measurements. Samples for potential N mineralization and nitrification have been extracted, and frozen extracts will be analyzed in 2000. Because the magnitude of this project exceeded available EPA funding, the U.S. Forest Service support staff are assisting with analyses and data compilation.

Findings by graduate student Jennifer Evans indicate that, after 8 years of treatment, West Bear soils had higher mean concentrations of N than East Bear soils, and subsequently, East Bear soils exhibited a higher mean C/N ratio than West Bear soils. Differences in C/N ratios were greatest in the forest floor and the upper 5 cm of the mineral soil, consistent with anticipated increases of N due to surface applications of ammonium sulfate. We estimate that the total treatment N applied represents about 2 percent of the total soil N pool in the treatment watershed.

Stakeholders and Economic Modeling. The surveys and focus group activities with policymakers and forest products industry representatives have been completed (Objective 4). Work on all three steps of the TAF calibration process is underway (Objective 5): (1) updating some of the basic assumptions of the TAF model given more recent data; (2) adjusting the components of the model that assess and economic effects to reflect the biology and the recreational angling economy of Maine lakes; and (3) calibrating the model to a set of watersheds in Maine.

Future Activities:

Objective 1: Treatment and monitoring are ongoing at BBWM. Comparisons of model predictions with actual response are in progress. Objective 2: HELM lake monitoring as part of this project is complete. The characteristics of response in these lakes (regionalization) are being compared to the specific indicators of response at BBWM to a known treatment. Objective 3: The soils data are being completed. This information will be provided for incorporation into model predictions and comparisons. Objective 4: The final report for this component will be completed in early 2000. Objective 5: We are in the process of adjusting the fish models in TAF to reflect the biology of Maine's lakes. Forty-two lakes from the high-elevation lakes will be used to calibrate the TAF version of MAGIC. The output of these calibrations will set the parameters for the reduced form equations in TAF.


Journal Articles on this Report : 9 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 84 publications 27 publications in selected types All 20 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Church MR. The Bear Brook Watershed Manipulation project: Watershed science in a policy perspective. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):1-5 R825762 (1999)
R825762 (2000)
not available
Journal Article David M, Vance G, Kahl J. Chemistry of dissolved organic carbon at Bear Brook Watershed, Maine: stream water response to (NH4)2SO4 additions. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55:149-163. R825762 (1999)
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not available
Journal Article Fernandez I, Rustad L, David M, Nadelhoffer K, Mitchell M. Mineral soil and solution responses to experimental N and S enrichment at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):165-185. R825762 (1999)
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  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article Kahl J, Norton S, Fernandez I, Rustad L, Handley M. Nitrogen and sulfur input-output budgets in the experimental and reference watersheds, Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):113-131. R825762 (1999)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article Norton S, Kahl J, Fernandez I. Altered soil-soil water interactions inferred from stream water chemistry at an artificially acidified watershed at Bear Brook Watershed, Maine USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):97-111. R825762 (1999)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article Norton S, Kahl J, Fernandez I, Haines T, Rustad L, Nodvin S, Scofield J, Strickland T, Erickson H, Wigington Jr. P, Lee J. The Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM), USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):7-51. R825762 (1999)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article Roy S, Norton S, Fernandez I, Kahl J. Linkages of P and Al export at high discharge at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):133-147. R825762 (1999)
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    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article Wang Z, Fernandez I. Soil type and forest vegetation influences on forest floor nitrogen dynamics at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):221-234. R825762 (1999)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Journal Article White G, Fernandez I, Wiersma B. Impacts of ammonium sulfate treatment on the foliar chemistry of forest trees at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 1999;55(1):235-250. R825762 (1999)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    acid rain, acid deposition, regionalization, watersheds, environmental chemistry, decisionmaking, modeling, northeast., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Nutrients, Water & Watershed, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, State, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Air Deposition, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Watersheds, Ecological Indicators, atmospheric processes, risk assessment, ecosystem modeling, hydrological stability, acidification, geochemical modeling, atmospheric deposits, nutrient stress, aquatic ecosystems, forests, regional response patterns, water quality, nitrate loss, spatial and temporal patterns, Maine (ME), ecosystem stress, acid rain

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.umaine.edu/DrSoils/bbwm/bbwm.html Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1998
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • Final Report