Subalpine forest ecosystem responses to long-term nitrogen loading at Loch Vale Watershed, Colorado, USA

dc.contributor.authorWeinmann, Tim, author
dc.contributor.authorBoot, Claudia, advisor
dc.contributor.authorBaron, Jill, advisor
dc.contributor.authorRhoades, Charles, committee member
dc.contributor.authorCovino, Tim, committee member
dc.description2020 Spring.
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.
dc.description.abstractThis thesis presents the results of a long-term N fertilization experiment in the Loch Vale watershed of Rocky Mountain National Park and presents a conceptual model hypothesizing environmental controls on ecosystem responses to N fertilization. The experiment consisted of annual 25 kg N ha-1 application of NH4NO3 fertilizer to three 30 x 30 m subalpine forest plots from 1996 to 2017. Soil, plant, and lysimeter samples were collected over the course of the experiment to address three research goals. First, determine whether increased N input leads simply to increased N output, or whether observable ecosystem effects result. Second, describe changes in the ecosystem responses over time and determine the controls that govern those changes. Third, identify results of the experiment that may generalize to other coniferous forests around the world. The results show that N fertilization causes ecosystem effects in Loch Vale which vary over time and space due to the influence of hypothesized controlling factors such as soil moisture, pH, and plant uptake of N. The results of the Loch Vale experiment suggest that impacts of excess N on boreal forests may include increased plant growth where soil moisture is adequate, but when coupled with drought may lead to increased rates of nitrification, N mineralization, NO3- leaching, and soil acidification.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediummasters theses
dc.publisherColorado State University. Libraries
dc.rightsCopyright and other restrictions may apply. User is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. For information about copyright law, please see
dc.subjectforest soils
dc.subjectsubalpine forest
dc.subjectlong-term fertilization
dc.subjectecosystem science
dc.titleSubalpine forest ecosystem responses to long-term nitrogen loading at Loch Vale Watershed, Colorado, USA
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