Last update: 2012-05-31 17:06:01

Ruth D. Yanai

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
210 Marshall Hall
Syracuse, NY 13210
Telephone: 315-470-6955
FAX: 315-470-6954


Ph.D., Yale University, Forest Ecology, 1990
M. Phil., Yale University, 1987
M.S., Yale University, 1985
B.A., Yale University, Geology and Geophysics, 1981

Professional Positions:
  • Professor (2007-present), SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY
  • Sabbatical Fellow (2008), Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 2008
  • Associate Professor (1999-2007), SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY
  • Assistant Professor (1994-1999), SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY
  • Visiting Assistant Professor (1993), SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY
  • Senior Research Associate (1991-1994), Research Associate, Postdoctoral Associate, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY
  • Research Support Specialist (1989-1990), Center for Environmental Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Fulbright Fellow (1987-88), Edinburgh University and Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, United Kingdom
  • Teacher (1982-83), The Putney School, Putney, VT

  • Research Interests and Activities:
    Ruth D. Yanai began working at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in 1983, studying the cycling of phosphorus after the whole-tree harvest of Watershed 5. In 1993, the USDA NRICGP funded a project to compare archived and contemporary samples of forest floors, litterfall, and wood, from the HBEF and from a chronosequence of related sites, to determine whether recent changes in nutrient concentrations were more likely due to acid rain or to forest regrowth. Additional research interests include simulation modeling of nutrient uptake by roots and the response of plants to environmental change.

    Distinguished Awards and Memberships:
    Award for Research and Scholarship, Research Foundation, State University of New York, 2005. Member Agronomy Society of America, Ecological Society of America.

    Selected Publications:

    Publications are available at:

    Yanai, R.D., J.J. Battles, A.D. Richardson, E.B. Rastetter, D.M. Wood, and C. Blodgett.2010. Estimating uncertainty in ecosystem budget calculations. Ecosystems 13(2): 239-248.

    Wood, D.M, R.D. Yanai, D.C. Allen, and S. Wilmot. 2009. Sugar maple decline following defoliation by forest tent caterpillar. Journal of Forestry 107(1): 29-37

    Yanai, R.D., M.C. Fisk, T.J. Fahey, N.L. Cleavitt, and B.B. Park. 2008. Identifying roots of northern hardwood species: patterns with diameter and depth. Can. J. For. Res. 38(11): 2862-2869

    Lucash, M.S., D.M. Eissenstat, J.D. Joslin, K.J. McFarlane and R.D. Yanai. 2007.Estimating nutrient uptake by mature tree roots under field conditions: challenges and opportunities. Trees - Structure and Function 21(6):593-603.

    Nezat, C.A., J.D. Blum, R.D. Yanai and S.P. Hamburg. 2007. A sequential extraction to selectively dissolve apatite for determination of soil nutrient pools with an application to Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. Applied Geochemistry 22: 2406–2421

    Yanai, R.D., J.D. Blum, S.P. Hamburg, M.A. Arthur, C.A. Nezat, and T.G. Siccama. 2005. New insights into calcium depletion in northeastern hardwood forests. Journal of Forestry 103:14-20.

    Yanai, R.D., R.P. Phillips, M.A. Arthur, T.G. Siccama, and E. Hane. 2005. Spatial and temporal variation in calcium and aluminum in northern hardwood forest floors. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 160:109-118.

    Yanai, R.D., W.S. Currie, and C.L. Goodale. 2003. Soil carbon dynamics after forest harvest: an ecosystem paradigm reconsidered. Ecosystems 6:197-212

    Yanai, R.D., S.V. Stehman, M.A. Arthur, C.E. Prescott, A.J. Friedland, T.G. Siccama, and D. Binkley. 2003. Detecting change in forest floor carbon. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:1583-1593.

    Yanai, R.D., W.S. Currie, and C.L. Goodale. 2003. Soil carbon dynamics following forest harvest: an ecosystem paradigm reviewed. Ecosystems 6:197-212.

    Yanai, R.D., T.G Siccama, M.A. Arthur, C.A. Federer, and A.J. Friedland. 1999. Accumulation and depletion of base cations in forest floors in the northeastern US. Ecology 80:2774-2787

    Eissenstat, D.M. and R.D. Yanai. In press. Root lifespan, turnover and efficiency. In: Y. Waisel, A. Eshel, and U. Kafkafi (eds.). Plant Roots: The Hidden Half. 3rd Edition. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

    Bouma, T.J., D.M. Eissenstat, R.D. Yanai, U. Hartmond, L. Wang, D. Flores, and A. Elkin. 2001. Estimating age-dependent costs and benefits of roots with contrasting lifespan: comparing apples and oranges. New Phytol. 150:685-695

    Yanai, R.D., M.A. Arthur, T.G Siccama, and C.A. Federer. 2000. Challenges of measuring forest floor organic matter dynamics: repeated measures from a chronosequence. For. Ecol. Manage. 138:273- 283.

    Arthur, M.A., and R.D. Yanai. 2000. Distinguishing the effects of environmental stress and forest succession on changes in the forest floor. Korean J. Ecol. 23:83-88.

    Eissenstat, D.M., C. E. Wells, R.D. Yanai and J. L. Whitbeck. 2000. Building fine roots in a changing environment: implications for root longevity. New Phytol. 147:33-42.

    Nyland, R.D., D.G. Ray, R.D. Yanai, R.D. Briggs, L. Zhang, R. Cymballa, and M.J. Twery. 2000. Early stand development following even-age reproduction method cuttings in New York northern hardwoods. Can. J. For. Res. 30:67-75.

    Yanai, R.D., T.G Siccama, M.A. Arthur, C.A. Federer, and A.J. Friedland. 1999. Accumulation and depletion of base cations in forest floors in the northeastern US. Ecology 80:2774-2787.

    Co-Authors and Collaborators:
    Coates, Adam (W. Asheville Vineyard Church); Mishler, Andrew (USFS, Mendicino National Forest); Richardson, Andrew (Harvard University); Melvin, April (Cornell Univ.); Rau, Ben (USDA-Agricultural Research Service); Park, Byung Bae (Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Department of Forest Conservation, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea); Levine, Carrie (SUNY-ESF); Driscoll, Charley (Syracuse Univ. ); Goodale, Christy (Cornell Univ.); Fuss, Colin (Syracuse University); Blodgett, Corrie (SUNY-ESF); Johnson, Dale (University of Nevada); Ray, David (U Maine); Allen, Douglas (SUNY-ESF); Burns, Douglas (USGS); Wood, Dustin (Burns & McDonnell, Wallingford, CT); Parry, Dylan (SUNY-ESF); Rastetter, Ed (Woods Hole Res. Center); Natsuzaki, Eiji (U Nor. BC); Fatemi, Farrah (U Maine); Fernanadez, Ivan (Univ Maine); Joslin, J. Devereux (retired); Shanley, Jamie (USGS); Vose, Jim (USFS); Blum, Joel (Univ. of Michigan); Battles, John (UC-Berkeley); Campbell, John (USFS); McFarlane, Karis (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory); Bae, Kikang (SUNY-ESF); Bohn, Kimberly (University of Florida); Lautz, Laura (Syracuse University); Wielopolski, Lucian (Brookhaven National Lab); Green, Mark (Plymouth State University); Harmon, Mark (Oregon State Univ.); Williams, Mark (Univ. of Colorado); Acker, Marty (NMFS, WA ST Habitat Office); Arthur, Mary (Univ. of Kentucky); Adams, Mary Beth (USFS); Vadeboncoeur, Matt (University of New Hampshire); Fisk, Melany (Miami U of Ohio); Lucash, Melissa (SUNY-ESF); Cho, Min Seok (Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Forest Practice Research Center, Pocheon, Korea); Mitchell, Myron (SUNY-ESF); Anderson, Nate (USFS, Missoula, MT); Fierer, Noah (Univ. Colorado); Tokuchi, Noako (Kyoto State University); Groffman, Peter (Inst. of Ecosystems Studies); Nyland, Ralph (SUNY-ESF); Germain, René (SUNY-ESF); Briggs, Russ (SUNY-ESF); Wilmot, Sandra (VT Div of Forestry); Kulpa, Sarah (Devine Tarbell & Associates, Inc, Syracuse.); Lee, Soo Won (Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Forest Practice Research Center, Pocheon, Korea); Sebestyn, Stephen (USFS); Hamburg, Steve (Environmental Defense Fund); McNulty, Steven (USFS, Raleigh, NC); Mitra, Sudeep (Brookhaven National Lab); McConnell, Terry (Syracuse University); Fahey, Tim (Cornell Univ.); Siccama, Tom (Yale Univ.); McDowell, William (University of NH).

    Graduate Students:
    Kikang Bae, Franklin Diggs, Craig See

    Role at the Hubbard Brook:
    Monitoring Strategic Plan and Core Values Committees

    Title at Hubbard Brook:
    Principal Investigator