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Carbon Cycle

Determining soil nitrogen content in working forests

Data probes in deep soil
Data probes in deep soil

Trees need nitrogen to grow. If soil nitrogen levels are low, then growth is limited. The ability to accurately monitor the amount of soil nitrogen in a working forest is helpful for predicting future growth and for knowing when to take corrective action (fertilizer, altered management practices) when soil nitrogen levels decline.

Efforts to monitor …more

Determining CO2 emissions over time

Representation of carbon balance in the working forest. Image contained in paper:
Representation of carbon balance in the working forest. Image contained in paper:

The USDA-NIFA, through NARA, funds research to determine the environmental impact from a wood-based biofuel and chemical industry. To gauge how this industry would affect greenhouse gas (GHG) levels, a life cycle assessment (LCA) is being developed. In this case, …more