Quantitative Pit Soil Carbon and Nitrogen on Watershed 5 at the Hubbard Brook Expermental Forest, 1983-1998
Quantitative Pit Soil Carbon and Nitrogen on Watershed 5 at the Hubbard Brook Expermental Forest, 1983-1998
Steven Hamburg
Environmental Defense Fund
18 Tremont Street, Suite 850
Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 406-1832
Chris Johnson
Syracuse University
151 Link Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
Matt Vadeboncoeur
University of New Hampshire
8 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Douglas F. Ryan
Morris Arboretum
9414 Meadowbrook Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Tom Huntington
US Geological Survey
196 Whitten Road
Augusta, ME 04330
Thomas G. Siccama
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
We sampled soils prior to the whole-tree harvest of watershed 5 at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in 1983, and again in 1986, 1991, and 1998, using the quantitative soil pit method. Here we report soil mass, C and N concentrations, and loss-on-ignition for each horizon in each of the 239 soil pits excavated over the four sampling years.
KEYWORD SET: Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study LTER
carbon, forests, watersheds, mineralization, soil carbon, HBEF Watershed 5, HBR, Hubbard Brook LTER, loss-on-ignition, nitrogen, soil, soil pits.
KEYWORD SET: LTER Core Research Areas
disturbance, inorganic nutrients, organic matter.
Watershed 5 at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH
West bounding coordinate: -71.739375
East bounding coordinate: -71.731253
North bounding coordinate: 43.957167
South bounding coordinate: 43.948942
Watershed 5 is a 22.5-ha watershed extending from an elevation of 503-m at the weir to 755-m at the highest point on the ridge.
Sixty pits were located in stratified random fashion in 6 elevation bands on W5. 25x25m plots containing individual pits are identified in the HB grid system by "pit number" in the data set. All four sampling locations within each plot were marked prior to the experimental whole-tree harvest in 1983. A map of the plot system on W5 is available at: http://www.hubbardbrook.org/watersheds/maps/w5_veg_map.htm. The harvest of W5 is described in detail at: http://www.hubbardbrook.org/research/longterm/whole_tree/w5_overview/index.shtml
Our objective was to measure soil carbon and nitrogen pools and concentrations before whole tree harvesting as a baseline from which to estimate changes in pools after harvest. A 71x71cm frame was fastened to soil surface. Combined Oi and Oe horizons, the Oa horizon and 0-10cm, 10-20cm and 20cm to bottom of B horizon depth strata in mineral soil were excavated quantitatively. The volume, in situ, and mass of each layer were measured in the field. Subsamples of soil were collected for lab analysis.
Forest floor was sieved to 6.25mm. Mineral soil subsamples were sieved to 2mm. C and N were measured on an automated C-N analyzer.
  • Huntington, T.G., Ryan, D.F., and Hamburg, S.P. 1988. Estimating soil nitrogen and carbon pools in a northern hardwood forest ecosystem. Sci. Soc. Am. J. 52(4):1162-1167.
  • Huntington, T.G., Johnson, C.E., Johnson, A.H., Siccama, T.G., and Ryan, D.F. 1989. Carbon, organic matter, and bulk density relationships in a forested spodosol. Soil Sci 148:380-386.
  • Huntington, T.G., and Ryan, D.F. 1990. Whole-tree harvesting effects on soil nitrogen and carbon. For. Ecol. Manage. 31:193-204.
  • Johnson, C.E., Johnson, A.H., Huntington, T.G., and Siccama, T.G. 1991. Whole-tree clear-cutting effects on soil horizons and organic-matter pools. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 55:497-502.
  • Johnson, C.E. 1995. Soil nitrogen status eight years after whole-tree clear-cutting. Can. J. For. Res. 25:1346-1355.
  • Johnson, C.E., Driscoll, C.T., Fahey, T.J., Siccama, T.G., and Hughes, J.W. 1995. Carbon dynamics following clear-cutting of a northern hardwood forest ecosystem. In [Eds.], Carbon: Forms and Functions in Forest Soils, 463-488.Am. Soc. of Agronomy, Madison WI.
  • Ryan, D.F., Huntington, T.G., and Martin, C.W. 1992. Redistribution of soil nitrogen, carbon and organic matter by mechanical disturbance during whole-tree harvesting in northern hardwoods. For. Ecol. Manage. 49:87-99.
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3) Citation. It is considered a matter of professional ethics to acknowledge the work of other scientists. Thus, the Data User will properly attribute the Data Set in any publications or in the metadata of any derived data products that were produced using the Data Set. Citation should take the following general form: Creator, Year of Data Publication, Title of Dataset, Publisher, Dataset identifier.

Citation example: Holmes, R.T. 2012. Bird Abundances at Hubbard Brook (1969-2010) and on three replicate plots (1986-2000) in the White Mountain National Forest. Durham, NH. Hubbard Brook Data Archive [Database]. http://hubbardbrook.org/data/dataset.php?id=81 (23 July 2012)

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Acknowledgment example: Data on [topic] were provided by [name of PI] on [date]. These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA. Significant funding for collection of these data was provided by [agency]-[grant number], [agency]-[grant number], etc.

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Information Manager, Hubbard Brook LTER
234 Mirror Lake Road
North Woodstock, NH 03262

Phone: (603) 726-8902
Email: hbr-im@lternet.edu

Data file: w5soilcn.txt
Description: Watershed 5 Quantitative Pit Soil Carbon and Nitrogen at Hubbard Brook LTER. The data describes soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations in forest floor horizons and mineral soil depth strata in 60 quantitative pits on W5 before and after whole tree harvest.
Notes on Data: The data describes soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations in forest floor horizons and mineral soil depth strata in 60 quantitative pits on W5 before and after whole tree harvest.
ColumnVariableDescriptionUnitsCoded?Missing value label
1YearYear of sample collectionYYYYnnone
2PitSoil pit location on Watershed 5 gridnoneynone
3LayerSoil Horizonnoneynone
4ElevElevation of plotmeternnone
5ZoneElevation zone for stratified samplingnoneynone
6DistDisturbance code for each pit; varies with year samplednoneynone
7Massoven-dry mass of soil in each layer sampledkilogramPerMeterSquaredn
8Pct_CTotal carbon concentration, oven dry soilpercentn
9Pct_NTotal Nitrogen concentration, oven dry soilpercentn
10Pct_LOIloss on ignition at 500 deg. C from oven dry soilpercentn
11NotesNotes on data correction or irregularitiesnoneynone


Variable: Pit
Plot number where pit is located
Variable: Layer
Oie horizon
Oa horizon
Oie+Oa horizon
0-10cm depth mineral soil
10-20cm depth mineral soil
20cm depth in mineral soil to bottom of B horizon
Variable: Zone
Includes plots 308-360 (53 plots; 13 rows)
Includes plots 244-307 (64 plots; 8 rows)
Includes plots 196-243 (48 plots; 5 rows)
Includes plots 138-195 (58 plots; 6 rows)
Includes plots 65-137 (73 plots; 7 rows)
Includes plots 1-64 (64 plots; 7 rows)
Variable: Dist
Soil not disturbed
Soil disturbed during tree harvest conducted in 1983-1984
Variable: Notes
Notes on data correction or irregularities

Missing Value Code
Code Explanation
no data; sample was lost or mishandled
no data; sample was lost or mishandled
no concentration because sample mass was zero
no data; sample was lost or mishandled
no concentration because sample mass was zero
no data; sample was lost or mishandled
no concentration because sample mass was zero