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Stream Ecosystem Research

Lead Scientist(s): Dr. Gene E. Likens

Stream and lake ecosystem research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest started in the mid 1960s, and has included: surveys of invertebrate taxa; long-term studies of stream chemistry, temperature and hydrology; flux, cycling and mass-balance approaches to element cycling; and numerous whole-stream manipulative experiments to examine stream dynamics and processes.

Current and recent projects include:

  • Restoration of acidified stream ecosystems
  • Role of organic debris dams in streams, salinization of Mirror Lake from road deicers added from nearby I93,
  • Valley-wide export of solutes from the Hubbard Brook Valley
  • Network analysis of multi-scale controls on streamwater chemistry

Long-term analysis of precipitation and streamwater chemistry reveal rapid and relentless dilution. Chemistry of precipitation and stream water are projected to reach demineralized conditions within a decade or so (Likens and Buso 2012, ES&T).