2000 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 , USDA Forest Service , 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, 1999 through August 31, 2000
Project Amount: $623,395
RFA: Water and Watersheds Research (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Water and Watersheds

Objective:

The 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 in a format that facilitates its use by policy-makers, guiding them to the appropriate scientific information for their decisions.

  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): After 9 years of treatment, West Bear soils had higher mean concentrations of N than East Bear, and subsequently East Bear soils exhibited a higher mean C/N ratio than West Bear. Differences in C/N ratios were greatest in the forest floor and the upper 5cm 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% of the total soil N pool in the treatment watershed. Differences between softwoods and hardwoods appear more important after a decade of treatments relative to N dynamics in soils. Some evidence of accelerated N cycling in softwoods is apparent that was not previously seen at this site. Soils from the 20 watersheds sampled in the HELM lake population showed relatively few significant correlations between overall mean soil chemistry as related to N properties and lake organic and inorganic N. These data are currently being analyzed for insights on spatial patterns within watersheds from the soil transects. Overall correlations between mean soil and lake properties showed that lake NO3 was not directly correlated to measures of soil N mineralization or nitrification. Total N in the soil was the most strongly correlated soil measurement with lake total N. The O horizon was generally more strongly correlated with lake chemistry, and soil concentration data are better predictors of lake chemistry than mass per unit area. From the analyses done to date, it does appear that soil cation chemistry (e.g. exchangeable Ca) is a good predictor of lake cation status. These analyses were conducted through other funding and are currently being assembled.

Stakeholders and Economic Modeling (Objectives 4 and 5): The surveys and focus group activities with policy makers and forest products industry representatives has been completed (Objective 4). Work on all three steps of the TAF calibration process is complete (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:

We have completed data collection and are now in the synthesis and analysis phase. An additional meeting is planned with Cosby at University of Maine. Several manuscripts and presentations are planned or underway using the results of this research. Specifically:

Objective 1. Treatment and monitoring are ongoing at BBWM, as part of the long-term research that transcends this research grant. Comparisons of model predictions with actual response are in progress by J. Cosby.

Objective 2. HELM lake monitoring as part of this project is complete. We presently are comparing the characteristics of response in these lakes (regionalization) to the specific indicators of response at BBWM to a known treatment.

Objective 3. The soils data are being completed. This information will be used in MAGIC for model predictions and comparisons.

Objective 4. The final report for policy makers has been completed and delivered to EPA OAR, Clean Air Markets Division (Kahl, 1999).

Objective 5. We have completed work on TAF, and are writing the results.


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)
R825762 (2000)
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)
R825762 (2000)
R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
    Exit
  • 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
    Exit
  • 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
    Exit
  • 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
    Exit
  • 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)
    R825762 (2000)
    R825762 (Final)
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
    Exit
  • 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
    Exit
  • 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
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    acid rain, acid deposition, regionalization, watersheds, public policy, modeling, surveys, environmental chemistry, decision making, 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
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • Final Report