Nitrogen in rain and snow falls to the ground where, in theory, it is used by forest plants and microbes.
Nitrogen in rain and snow falls to the ground where, in theory, it is used by forest plants and microbes. New research by a scientific collaboration led by the USDA Forest Serviceshows that more nitrogen from rain and snow is making it to more streams than previously believed and flowing downstream in forests of the United States and Canada. The study, “Unprocessed atmospheric nitrate in waters of the Northern Forest Region in the USA and Canada,” was published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and is available at: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/57730.
Scientists found that some nitrate, which is a form of nitrogen that plants and microbes can use, occasionally moves too fast for biological uptake, resulting in “unprocessed” nitrate bypassing the otherwise effective filter of forest biology. The study links pollutant emissions from various and sometimes distant sources including industry, energy production, the transportation sector and agriculture to forest health and stream water quality.
Read more at USDA Forest Service
Image Credit: USDA Forest Service