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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2018

  • Title: Impact of deer and moose on soil carbon and root biomass
  • Primary Author: Marc-Andre Giasson (Boston University)
  • Additional Authors: Stephen DeStefano (U. S. Geological Survey, Cooperative Research Unit Program, University of Massachusetts); Edward Faison (Highstead, Inc.); Adrien Finzi (Boston University)
  • Abstract:

    Over the past decade, several deer and moose exclosures have been built at the Harvard Forest to study the effect of ungulate browsing on tree regeneration, species diversity, and composition. In 2017, we built on the existing infrastructure to study the impacts of deer and moose browsing on soil carbon stocks (soil C, root biomass) in regenerating forests.

    Four sites with exclosures are located within the limits of the Harvard Forest; three on the Prospect Hill tract and one on the Tom’s Swamp tract. Each site consists of one moose exclosure, one moose and deer exclosure, and one unfenced control plot. We established one plot in each of the 12 exclosure and control plots. Each plot consists of 6 subplots and was established following the sampling design used by Serita Frey at the Harvard Farm (“Conant plots”). In each subplot, we collected one 10 cm × 10 cm organic horizon sample and three 10-cm-long mineral soil cores to a depth of 30 cm.

    Samples are currently being processed at Boston University. Soil carbon and nitrogen content, as well as root biomass, will be determined on each sample.

  • Research Category: Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics; Large Experiments and Permanent Plot Studies