Modification of Nitrogen Cycling at the Regional Scale: The Subtle Effects of Atmospheric Deposition

  • John D. Aber


There are two aspects to the problem of subtle human effects on ecosystems. The first is designing scientific studies so as to be able to detect subtle effects (see also Russell, Chapter 8, this volume). The second, and perhaps more difficult, is deciding whether such subtle changes are “bad” and require regulatory correction. In this chapter, I will first present an example of the subtle effects of nitrogen (N) deposition on forest ecosystem function over large areas, and then will attempt to deal with the question of environmental change and its perception by humans.


Nitrogen Cycling Subtle Effect Nitrogen Ratio Forest Decline National Atmospheric Deposition Program 
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Recommended Reading

  1. Aber, J.D. and W.R. Jordan. (1985). Restoration ecology: an environmental middle ground. BioScience 35:399.Google Scholar
  2. Aber, J.D. and J.M. Melillo. (1991). Terrestrial Ecosystems. Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  3. Aber, J.D., K.J. Nadelhoffer, P. Steudler, and J.M. Melillo. (1989). Nitrogen saturation in northern forest ecosystems. BioScience 39:378–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bormann, F.H. (1982). The effects of air pollution on the New England landscape. Antbio 11:338–346.Google Scholar
  5. Driscoll, C.T., C.P. Yatsko, and F.J. Unangst. (1987). Longitudinal and temporal trends in the water chemistry of the North Branch of the Moose River. Biogeochemistry 3:37–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Summers, P.W., V.C. Bowersox, and G.J. Stensland. (1986). The geographical distribution and temporal variations of acidic deposition in eastern North America. Water Air Soil Polhit. 31:523–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

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  • John D. Aber

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