Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): J.L. Morse; S.F. Werner; C.P. Gillin; C.L. Goodale; S.W. Bailey; K.J. McGuire; P.M. Groffman
    Date: 2014
    Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 119(8): 1596-1607.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.05 MB)


    Understanding and predicting the extent, location, and function of biogeochemical hot spots at the watershed scale is a frontier in environmental science. We applied a hydropedologic approach to identify (1) biogeochemical differences among morphologically distinct hydropedologic settings and (2) hot spots of microbial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling activity in a northern hardwood forest in Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. We assessed variables related to C and N cycling in spodic hydropedologic settings (typical podzols, bimodal podzols, and Bh podzols) and groundwater seeps during August 2010. We found that soil horizons (Oi/Oe, Oa/A, and B) differed significantly for most variables. B horizons (>10cm) accounted for 71% (±11%) of C pools and 62%(±10%) ofmicrobial biomass C in the sampled soil profile, whereas the surface horizons (Oi/Oe and Oa/A; 0-10cm) were dominant zones for N-cycle-related variables. Watershed-wide estimates of C and N cycling were higher by 34 to 43% (±17-19%) when rates, horizon thickness, and areal extent of each hydropedologic setting were incorporated, versus conventionally calculated estimates for typical podzols that included only the top 10cm of mineral soil. Despite the variation in profile development in typical, bimodal, and Bh podzols, we did not detect significant differences in C and N cycling among them. Across all soil horizons and hydropedologic settings, we found strong links between biogeochemical cycling and soil C, suggesting that the accumulation of C in soils may be a robust indicator of microbial C and N cycling capacity in the landscape.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Morse, J.L.; Werner, S.F.; Gillin, C.P.; Goodale, C.L.; Bailey, S.W.; McGuire, K.J.; Groffman, P.M. 2014. Searching for biogeochemical hot spots in three dimensions: soil C and N cycling in hydropedologic settings in a northern hardwood forest. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 119(8): 1596-1607.


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page