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[image:] Lucas Nave

Lucas Nave

Title: Coordinator, International Soil Carbon Network, Research Scientist
Unit: Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science
Address: University of Michigan Biological Station                                        
9133 Biological Rd.
Pellston, MI 49769
Phone: (231) 539-8742
E-mail: Luke Nave


  • Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, 2007.
  • B.A. in Biology, Wittenberg University, 2002.

Civic & Professional Affiliations

  • Research Fellow: University of Michigan Biological Station
  • Adjunct Professor: North Central Michigan College
  • Member: American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, National Soil Carbon Network, Soil Science Society of America


Current Research

My work with the National Soil Carbon Network involves communicating with network participants, organizing workshops, and developing databases. Through these activities, I facilitate Network goals involving collaboration and research synthesis, prediction of soil carbon change, and the identification of future research needs.
My scientific research primarily focuses on forest carbon and nitrogen cycling. Much of my work on carbon cycling involves big-picture statistical analyses of previously conducted research to understand how forest management affects soil carbon storage. In the realm of nitrogen cycling, I study how nitrogen availability changes following disturbance, during forest succession, and how these changes affect the outcome of competition between the trees that will dominate future forests of the Great Lakes region.
 I am currently involved in the following collaborative research:

  • The effects of forest management on forest soil carbon storage
  • Nitrogen cycling and mycorrhizal relationships in successional Great Lakes aspen forest
  • Primary inputs and flow paths of belowground carbon in eastern oak forests (The Enriched Background Isotope Study).
  • Detritus Input and Removal Treatments (The UMBS-DIRT Experiment)
  • Carbon-nitrogen-water relations of the hemiparasitic plant Melampyrum lineare

Why This is Important

Soil carbon is a fundamental component of forest productivity and structure, strongly influencing soil fertility, resistance to erosion and compaction, and water storage and availability. Soil carbon also plays a large role in global fluxes of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Globally, there is at least twice as much carbon in the soil as in the atmosphere, and two thirds of forest carbon is in the soil. Understanding the forms and fate of forest soil carbon can help us predict, mitigate, and adapt to the effects of disturbance at wide spatial and temporal scales. Studying the forest nitrogen cycle improves our ability to understand how nitrogen availability constrains forest growth, affects water quality, and impacts soil processes that store and release carbon. Nitrogen availability also influences the structure and diversity of soil microbial and plant communities, which provide us with delicious edible fungi and useful wood products.

Future Research

I plan to continue working on questions related to soil carbon pools and their responses to management, disturbance, and climate change in the U.S. I also would like to close geographic data gaps in soil carbon pools of the U.S. Finally, I hope to maintain collaborative studies of nitrogen cycling, mycorrhizal relationships, and tree competition during forest succession.

Featured Publications

Nave, L.E.; Vance, E.D.; Swanston, C.W.; Curtis, P.S. 2010. Harvest impacts on soil carbon storage in temperate forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 259: 857-866.

Nave, L.E.; Vance, E.D.; Swanston, C.W.; Curtis, P.S. 2009. Impacts of elevated N inputs on north temperate forest soil C storage, C/N, and net N-mineralization. Geoderma. 153: 231-240.

Additional Publications

Nave, L.E.; Vogel, C.S.; Gough, C.M., Curtis, P.S. 2009. Contribution of atmospheric nitrogen deposition to net primary productivity in a northern hardwood forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 39:1108-1118.

Nave L.E., Vance E.D., Swanston C.W., and Curtis P.S. 2011. Fire effects on temperate forest soil C and N storage. Ecological Applications 21(4), 1189-1201.

Nave, L.E.; Curtis, P.S. In review. Uptake and partitioning of simulated atmospheric N inputs in Pinus strobus – Populus tremuloides forest mesocosms. Canadian Journal of Botany.

Nave, L.E.; Gough, C.M. Quantifying ecological change using stable isotopes: digging deep into the past to predict the future. New Phytologist. 171:3-6.

Averett, J.M.; Klips, R.A.; Nave, L.E.; Frey, S.D.; Curtis, P.S. The effects of soil carbon amendment on nitrogen availability and plant growth in an experimental tallgrass prairie restoration. Restoration Ecology. 12: 567-573.

Last Modified: 11/07/2014