- Burke, Andrea M.
University of Maine
In Maine, where forests represent a major component of the state's economy, the potential for increased utilization of forest biomass over current levels raises questions about nutrient supply, depletion, and the long-term sustainability of forests. There are few long-term, comprehensive, empirical investigations into ecosystem dynamics of Maine's managed spruce-fir resource to directly observe the consequences of the intensification of forest management. In the absence of such studies, this research employs modeling and analysis of a geographically distributed database on forest soil nutrients to assess relative risk of soil nutrient depletion with increased biomass removal from Maine's spruce-fir forests. These results serve to focus our attention on key nutrient concerns, risk assessment needs, and research priorities for the future.