The Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) in Minnesota serves as a living laboratory and provides scientists with a fundamental understanding of peatland hydrology, acid rain impacts, nutrient and carbon cycling, trace gas emissions, and controls on mercury transport in boreal watersheds. Its important role in scientific research continues to grow as the data gathered offers invaluable insight into environmental changes over the last century and goes far in answering many of today’s pressing questions at landscape and global scales.
Synthesizing five decades of research, Peatland Biogeochemistry and Watershed Hydrology at the Marcell Experimental Forest includes hundreds of research publications, dozens of graduate theses, and even some previously unpublished studies. Research at the MEF has been at the forefront of many scientific disciplines and these 15 chapters offer the depth and breadth of long-term studies on hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology, and forest management on peatland watersheds at the MEF.
Focusing on peatlands, lakes, and upland landscapes, the book begins with the pioneering research on hydrology done during the 1960s. It presents the innovative 1970’s studies of atmospheric deposition; the 1980’s research into nutrient cycles including carbon, nitrogen, and methane emissions; and the 1990’s investigations into mercury deposition. The book concludes with a look at the latest and on-going studies such as this century’s research into controls on methylmercury production and landscape-level carbon storage and cycling.
Covering 50 years of research and written by a veritable who’s who in peatland and forestry science, this important milestone in the collection of ecological data highlights bright prospects for future research, including the continuation of existing long-term measurements, the initiation of new monitoring programs, and plans for unprecedented studies on climate change.
Table of Contents
History, philosophy, and legacy of the Marcell Experimental Forest; Boelter, Bay, and Verry
Importance of Long-term Monitoring at the Marcell Experimental Forest; Sebestyen and Kolka
An Evolving Research Agenda; Sebestyen and Kolka
Geology, Paleo Botany, Paleo Climate, and Paleo Hydrology; Verry, Jansson, and Gorham
Physical and Chemical Properties of Organic and Mineral Soils; Verry, Boelter, and Gafni
Scaling up Evapotranspiration Estimates: Process Studies to Watersheds; Brooks, Verma, Nichols, and Boelter
Watershed Hydrology: The Hydrologic Function of Uplands and Peatlands; Verry, Brooks, Sebestyen, and Ferris
Nutrient Cycling in Upland/peatland Watersheds; Urban, Sebestyen, Gorham, and Verry
Carbon Pools in Uplands and Peatlands; Grigal, Kolka, and Bates
Carbon Emissions from Peatlands; Weishampel, Dise, Verma, and Gorham
Mercury Cycling in Peatland Soils and Watersheds; Kolka, Engstrom, Swain, Nater, Mitchell, Branfireun, and Hines
Forest Management Practices and Silviculture; Perala
Hydrologic Responses to Forest Cover Changes on Uplands and Peatlands; Sebestyen, Verry, and Brooks
Affects of Forest Cover and Environmental Change on Water Chemistry; Sebestyen
Models for Predicting Hydrologic Response of Peatland and Upland Forested Watersheds to Management and Climate Change; Brooks, Guertin, Lu, Nieber, Ffolliot, Predmore, and Barten
Appendix 1: Staff, students, and seasonal employee roster
Appendix 2: MEF Bibliography
Randall K. Kolka is Team Leader and Research Soil Scientist for the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station.
"This book should be read—and frequently returned to—by everyone with interests in either peatland or forest processes (or in both). It is perhaps on the expensive side for undergraduate purchase and, therefore, also a ‘must’ acquisition for libraries supporting peatland courses."
—Olivia Bragg, Mires and Peat, Book Review 2013.02, February 2013