Nitrogen Fertilization Increases Windstorm Damage in an Aggrading Forest
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Storms are the most significant disturbance events in temperate forests. Forests impacted by nitrogen deposition may face more severe storm damage as changes in soil and wood chemistry impact tree growth allocation, wood strength, and species composition. To examine these potential effects of nitrogen deposition, we measured tree damage from a windstorm in an aggrading forest that is part of a nitrogen fertilization experiment. We discovered that within the nitrogen fertilization treatment area there was significantly more basal area and stems damaged when compared to the reference treatment, and the nitrogen fertilization treatment had more snapped and severely damaged trees. Additionally, the effect of treatment and amount of damage to trees was different depending on tree species. If our results are indicative of the large and globally-distributed regions of temperate forests impacted by nitrogen deposition, then the increased windstorm disturbance risk posed by climate change could be more significant due to the effects of nitrogen deposition.
Keywordsdisturbance; storm; damage; N deposition; temperate forest; acidification; acid rain; N saturation; windthrow
Walter, Christopher A.; Fowler, Zachariah K.; Adams, Mary Beth; Burnham, Mark B.; McNeil, Brenden E.; Peterjohn, William T. 2021. Nitrogen Fertilization Increases Windstorm Damage in an Aggrading Forest. Forests. 12(4): 443. 12 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040443.